Oaklander Marshawn Lynch will be a handy shield for Mark Davis

Oaklander Marshawn Lynch will be a handy shield for Mark Davis

Marshawn Lynch has some big beast to mode in his new role as Oakland’s Oaklandest Raider, and the first item on the agenda is to make the customers forget that most of them are about to be ex-customers.

Lynch, who is a pro forma trade between the Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks away from repatriation with his ancestral home, will be a handy shield (pun intended) to those who want to string Mark Davis up from the highest light pole at Bushrod Park. At least he will be in the short term.

What he is as a football player two years from his best seasons remains to be seen. He turns 31 a week from Saturday, and 31-year-olds, even ones who have taken a year off from the game to rejuvenate a battered body and weary mind, do not tend to light up the night with their incandescent talents.

But Lynch could also defy the math because those best seasons were wondrous things indeed. And the closer he is to his Mode years, the greater the Raiders’ chances of doing the one thing that can save Davis from the ignominy that awaits him in this town.

Win the big one.

The Raiders’ proudest era is now 35 years old; that’s the last time they won the Super Bowl by eviscerating Washington. It’s been a hills-and-ravines existence since then, and the current Raiders just finished living down 12 years of horrendous existence.

They are, in the words of the prophets, a very live bet indeed.

They are also a very live bet on the way out of town, which means that for Oakland fans who have chosen to endure far more than a fan base should be expected to, the window will be open for three more years, max, before it shuts for good . . . or until they move back to Oakland in 2033 as part of their 20 years in/13 years out/20 years in migratory pattern.

Thus, Lynch will define at least some of the terms of the Raiders’ departure. If he is a key contributor to another parade, he will be remembered as the man who made the team’s departure a slightly more palatable one. That’s a nice way to never have to pay for another drink in your town ever again.

And for him, this is a win-win proposition. If he isn’t Lynchy enough for the fan base – that is, if his 31-year-old legs act the way most 31-year-old legs act in the modern NFL – at least he came with the best of intentions, and whatever bad feelings about the Las Vegas Raiders remain won’t touch him. After all, he will have chosen the OAKLAND Raiders, while most of his teammates will have been assigned to them.

Yes, that matters. At a time when Oakland’s renaissance-let is coming with the departures of two of their three professional sports teams, wanting Oakland has always played well with those who live in Oakland . . . as it should.

And while anyone can come home again, coming home this way plays exceedingly well. Marshawn Lynch has always understood this about his home, and if nothing else, he is genuine about Oakland.

So he will be a Raider at last, and no matter what kind of Raider he turns out to be, he will be an honored Oaklander no matter what.

But if he happens to be the grand marshal in the city’s final Super Bowl parade, well, being made the mayor without ever having to be elected is a nice gig, too. He just has a finite time to pull it off before Mark Davis reminds everyone that he owns the Oakland Renters.

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.”