Gutierrez: Three Raiders listed in NFL's Top 100

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Gutierrez: Three Raiders listed in NFL's Top 100

June 27, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comPolls are like, um, opinions -- everybody's got one. And just about everyone is more than willing to share theirs with you.So what makes the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011 poll different? Well, for one thing, the voting was done by the players themselves. Players were asked to vote for a Top 20 of their own and the ballots were counted until a Top 100 list was reached.And while the Top 10 is still to be unveiled, the Raiders had three players listed among the Top 100. Unless, of course, punter Shane Lechler or placekicker Sebastian Janikowski somehow sneak into the Top 10 to up the number for Oakland. I kid, of course. Kinda...

The three Raiders listed - No. 98 Darren McFadden, No. 66 Richard Seymour and No. 18 Nnamdi Asomugha.Asomugha, of course, is the most intriguing choice, seeing as how the free agent has most likely played his last game in Silver and Black and will be among the most coveted when the lockout ends and the free agency period begins.At No. 18 overall, Asomugha is only the third highest cornerback, behind Green Bay's Charles Woodson, who checked in at No. 16, and the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis, who will presumably be in the Top 10, which will be unveiled next Sunday.Raiders fans will disagree, vehemently. And Denver receiver Brandon Lloyd presented Asomugha in the NFL Network vignette on the Raiders free agent which aired Sunday night."What makes Nnamdi so good is his intelligence, knowing splits, and if I'm lining up five or six yards outside the numbers, he's anticipating and breaking route," Lloyd said. "It's pretty remarkable the studying you have to do as a receiver to change those tendencies."If I'm running and breaking route and I cut my split down, coach is like, 'Why are you doing that?' I say, 'Because Nnamdi's going to do undercut my route.'"In citing Asomugha's size -- he's 6-feet-2, 210 pounds -- long arms, quickness and his ability to anticipate the snap, Lloyd called Asomugha a "stick-to-you-like-glue guy."The show said Raiders opponents attempted 470 passes against Oakland in 2010, with only 13 being completed against Asomugha. None for a touchdown.A highlight was also shown of former Raider great cornerback Lester Hayes greeting Asomugha before a game."You a monster, man," Hayes told a giggling Asomugha. "Son, you can play bump and run. I love how you play bump and run."In what was perhaps the most telling portion of the segment, though, former Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall needled safety Michael Huff when he came over to help Asomugha in a game."Ya'll going to play me like that?" Marshall shrieked. "You got Nnamdi. That's the best in the league. Damn."Raiders fans might be cursing just as loudly if and when he signs elsewhere.Part of the reason for Asmougha probably leaving will be the hefty raise Al Davis gave Stanford Routt and Seymour, who was listed as a defensive end, even though he played defensive tackle in 2010.As such, Seymour was the sixth defensive end listed, behind Kansas City's Tamba Hali (No. 64), the New York Giants' Justin Tuck (No. 60), Indianapolis' Robert Mathis (No. 44) and Dwight Freeney (No. 15) and, again, presumably, Chicago's Julius Peppers (Top 10).McFadden may have enjoyed a breakout season but was only the 11th running back listed, behind the 49ers' Frank Gore (No. 94), Houston's Vonta Leach (No. 65), Baltimore's Ray Rice (No. 56), Atlanta's Michael Turner (No. 42), St. Louis' Steven Jackson (No. 38), Kansas City's Jamaal Charles (No. 33), Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew (No. 30), Houston's Arian Foster (No. 25), Tennessee's Chris Johnson (No. 13) and, no doubt, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (Top 10).So which Raiders were snubbed in the Top 100? Tight end Zach Miller, perhaps? Lechler and SeaBass?The poll made for good water cooler fodder in the lockout. So who are your Top 10? Still to be listed include quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, running back Peterson, receiver Andre Johnson, defensive end Peppers, linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Revis and safeties Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.