A day after getting fired by new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Hue Jackson surfaced on the NFL Network on Wednesday.In an on-set interview with Fran Charles in Los Angeles, Jackson was asked about his infamous final post-game media conference in which he said he was "pissed" at his team and threw players and, it seemed at the time, his defensive coaching staff, under the bus.Asked if he regretted saying some of the things he said following the season-ending 38-26 loss to San Diego, Jackson did not, well, blink."I wish I could take it back and say it differently so people could really understand what I was trying to say," Jackson said. "I wasn't trying to say that I wanted to take total control of everything."I think when you work for the Raiders, I think you understand that Al Davis is first and foremost -- you work for him. So I didn't get an opportunity to put everybody that I wanted on my staff, or run the team or the situation with football operations the way I see fit. I took the job, and I knew the parameters of the job, and I accepted that, and I think at the end, what was coming out of me was the emotion of a long season, being 8-8, losing to the Chargers with so much riding on the line. The opportunity to win the AFC West, to host a playoff game there at home, opportunity to have the first nine-win season since 2002."Jackson did raise eyebrows that day with how quickly he appeared for the presser."I normally go in and take a shower and put on my clothes before I go and see the media and I think I kind of carried some things with me and that's a lesson learned for me," Jackson said. "You think you need to settle down first and really think through what you're saying. But what I said is what I felt."Not that I was trying to say I wanted to run everything; I just wanted to be able to feel like I knew there were some changes that needed to be made and I wanted to be able to make them, and I was trying to voice that. Not take total control or anything like that."Jackson also broached several other topics:On if he was caught off guard by being relieved of his duties by new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie:"I was a little surprised, but I do understand the nature of pro football. Sometimes things that look like they should don't always end up like they should. So I understand. The Raiders did me a favor by giving me an opportunity, Al Davis did and I thank him for it. What a tremendous organization. My time there was awesome, the people at 1220 (Harbor Bay Parkway) who I worked with, they were tremendous; the staff was tremendous. I understand the nature of this business, but obviously I wish it would have went a different direction than it did."On how he found out that he would no longer be the head coach of the Raiders:"(Reggie McKenzie and I) didn't really get into too many of the details. Reggie was very forthcoming and just said, 'I'm going to make a change, I need to bring in my own guy,' which I understand. I knew that anytime a new GM comes in, they like to line themselves with their head coach, somebody that they want to bring in. At the end of the day, I can't fault him or anyone within the organization for feeling like they feel. I wish the situation was different but it's not."On any conversations he had with Mark Davis over the past couple of days:"I didn't talk to Mark (before the decision was made). I have not talked to Mark. Mark is a good man and I have spent a lot of time ever since the night that Coach (Al Davis) died; the person that told me was Mark -- he came to my room and informed me of what had happened to Coach. I haven't had an opportunity to speak to him. I did text him and tell him thank you for the opportunity and to thank him and his family, and I wish him well. But at the end of the day, like I said he's the owner and he's going to make the decision of which direction the franchise runs and I have to accept that."On the Raiders down the stretch of the regular season:"We didn't finish. It's a term that I've always used. We didn't play as well as we could have down the stretch, and again that's what I was feeling after that San Diego game. We had so many opportunities, whether it was going to Miami, going to Green Bay, finishing at home against Detroit, went to Kansas City and then here comes San Diego. We weren't able to get it done and I don't have an excuse for that. At the end of the day, that's my charge -- to make sure that we do (get it done), and we didn't. I know we played decently on offense, we didn't play as well as we could or should on defense and I think the players know that. I think they own up to that and they respect that. But at the end of the day we just didn't finish. When you don't finish, this is what happens -- you end up 8-8 and you end up out of the playoffs."On if he wants to coach in 2012:"There is no doubt I do. I love coaching, I love leading men and coaching guys. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, but I'm going to take a couple of days to just relax and then let the chips fall where they may. There is a place out there for me someplace and I think I'll find it."
The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.
He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.
General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.
Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.
McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.
“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”
That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.
“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”
The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.
The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.
Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.
Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.
Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.
ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.
Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.
“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”
That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.
“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”
That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.
There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.
After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.
“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”
Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.
“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”
He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.
“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”