Madden upset by Raiders decision to leave Oakland: 'That really bothers me'

Madden upset by Raiders decision to leave Oakland: 'That really bothers me'

John Madden was a head coach for just one team -- the Oakland Raiders. He was the best coach in franchise history, with a 103-32 record over 10 seasons leading the Silver and Black.

He’s a legend who brought glory to the East Bay, where he coached home games throughout his career. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was his battle ground, where he rarely lost in his head-coaching career.

Seeing the Raiders leave Oakland for good won’t be an easy thing. The Raiders will play one season at least, possibly two or three, in the old venue before heading to a new home in Las Vegas.

Madden sees it as the end of a great era and a strong bond between team and community.

“It really gets you because of the finality of it,” Madden said Wednesday night in an interview on SiriusXM NFL radio, with quotes from the station’s website. “When they moved before (to Los Angeles), that was after I got out and I was in broadcasting and I wasn’t that much of a part of it, but we had a stadium in Oakland that was relevant. And so, ‘Okay, Oakland may lose the Raiders, but we’ll get another team,’ because that was the way it was working back then.

“And with the stadium now, when they move out, that’s going to be torn down and it’s going to be a high-rise or some doggone thing and there’ll be no more Oakland Raiders, there’ll be no more history of the Oakland Raiders. That really bothers me.”

Despite signs pointing toward the Raiders gaining approval to relocate heading into the late March NFL owners meetings, Madden said he was surprised by the ease of approval.

“I didn’t think that that would happen and when they got a vote of 31-1, I was really shocked and I was surprised not only that it happened,” Madden said, “but how quickly that it happened.”

He also fears for teams visiting to play the Raiders, with the abundant nightlife scene that never truly sleeps.

“I would hate to be a coach to take a team in there,” Madden said. “I would hate to have my team be in Las Vegas on Saturday night before the game. And that’s any team. You say, ‘Well, you had a bunch of rowdies,’ but every team has a bottom 10. You can say, ‘Oh, we got a good group, it’s a great group, we’re together,’ and all this stuff. Say you have 55 guys. Forty-five of them can be perfect, but you’ve got that bottom 10. And you have to be as good as your last guy. If this thing goes through, I think there’s going to be a lot of problems like that.”

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.