Jackson to meet with McClain


Jackson to meet with McClain

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Raiders coach Hue Jackson spoke to reporters following Friday's practice and discussed the Rolando McClain situation before the team left for their charter flight to Florida.

Jackson intimated he might take action against McClain in the form of a suspension before the NFL got involved. Remember, on the Monday of the Raiders' bye week, Jackson was asked what his message was to players as they left town for a few days.

"What I told them" Jackson said on Oct. 24, "most important is one, that you represent this organization and this team, and don't do anything stupid that will cost youto be a member of this football team. That's first and foremost."

Friday, though, Jackson said he was hoping to speak with McClain face-to-face "in the next several hours," presumably at the team hotel this evening, after the team arrived in Fort Lauderdale.

A sampling, then, of Jackson's Q&A with the media earlier Friday afternoon

Question: What is Rolando's current status with the team?
The status of Rolando is this: Coach Jackson now has gotten more information that I can now make a very informed decision on what I think is best for our football team and I'll do that here in the next day or so. Obviously, there's a situation that's happened, and I've had an opportunity to digest it all, and see it all, but at this time, I think what's most important for our organization is that we focus on this football game. Because I have 52 other players that are doing things the right way and doing things as I see they should be doing it and we're getting ready to play a game, and I will deal with Rolando when that time comes.

Question: Is Rolando here?
Here in Oakland? No, he's not. He is not here in Oakland. Obviously, he's not in jail. I hope to see him in the next several hours, myself, personally and then we'll go from there.

Question: Are you disturbed by how this makes the organization look?
I'm disturbed by everything. Anything that hurts this organization or hurts this football team and what we talk about and what we're trying to become, I'm very disturbed by it. Here's the bottom line -- there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and obviously, there was something done wrong. So we'll go and deal with that accordingly from there.

Question: Are you confident Darryl Blackstock can step up if at middle linebacker if need be?
I'm confident that whatever we decide to do this football team will rally and play as well as it's ever played.

Question: At this point, have you ruled him out for Sunday?
I haven't done that yet, but again, I will deal with that, I don't have to do that right now. I'll do that as we continue to move forward.

Question: How concerned are you with this situation being a distraction?
Not with this team. I'm not concerned with it. I'm not going to let anybody stop this train from where it's going. I don't care who it is, and I think the team's that way. And this team has taken on my personality, and I know that and I believe that. We're not going to get concerned about anybody that's not on the train the right way. We're going to get ready to go to Miami to win a football game. That's all they know, that's all I know, and that's what we're going to be concerned about.

Question: Would you wait for the NFL to hand down any kind of discipline, or would you just act on behalf of the Raiders?
Absolutely. The league's going to do what they're going to do, and I respect that. But this isn't right now about the league. This is about the Raiders and this organization and coach Jackson and this football team. We'll deal with it accordingly when that time comes. Again, until I have an opportunity to sit down with the player face to face, will I finalize my determination.

Question: Were you angry when you heard about this? Things were going well then this happened.
Things are going to still go well. We're not going to let one thing bring down what we're accomplishing, by no stretch of the imagination. Am I disappointed? Yes. Just like anything. You get disappointed in your kids. All these guys are like my sons. And when they make mistakes there's consequences and things that you have to deal with. And we'll deal with that accordingly. But we're moving forward. I know that these are things we have to talk about and deal with and we will, but this football team has a big game to play, and that's what the story is really about. It's about a game, and that's what we need to go do is go play a good football game.

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

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.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

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.”