Palmer has a downright Plunkett-onian afternoon


Palmer has a downright Plunkett-onian afternoon

OAKLAND -- Standing tall in the pocket, holding onto the ball until the last possible moment before throwing it downfield and absorbing brutal hit after brutal hit, Carson Palmer struck a familiar pose on Sunday.And the less-than-photogenic manner in which Palmer led the Raiders to their 26-23 overtime victory over Jacksonville was the same.Indeed, Palmer, whose forehead was scratched and bruised, had a downright Plunkett-onian game for the Raiders."An ugly win is better than a pretty loss," Palmer said, and could almost hear Jim Plunkett saying the same thing because, really, the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback has essentially said the same thing.Or, at least, that's what Al Davis used to tell Plunkett.But Davis has been gone for more than a year and Palmer, acquired in that massive deal with Cincinnati in the wake of Davis' death last October, is no doubt earning the trust, respect and admiration of his teammates with every passing game. Every passing hit. Every big play after ever seemingly just-as-big miscue."That's what the good ones do," said coach Dennis Allen. "He was able to stay in there and continue to complete. He made enough plays to give us a chance to win the game."And he did it by sparking the stuck-in-the-mud offense in calling his own plays while running the Raiders' no-huddle offense in the second half."That's a big weapon," said rookie receiver Rod Streater, who had a huge 18-yard reception down the left sideline late in the fourth quarter and during the Raiders' game-tying drive."He has a lot of experience running the show."Consider: at halftime, the Raiders had just 127 yards of total offense against the decrepit Jaguars, with 106 coming through the air, and a mere four first downs.Even Plunkett's former Raiders coach, Tom Flores, admitted on the radio broadcast he felt like falling asleep in the first half. That's how boring it was for Oakland.But then the Raiders finished with 351 total yards, and 20 first downs.RELATED: Box score -- Raiders 26, Jaguars 23
Palmer's passer rating might have been an unsightly 74.4, with 298 yards on 26 of 46 passing with a touchdown and interception. But the only stat that mattered was the "W," so to speak."I've played this game long enough to know that just finding a way to get a win against a desperate team(I'm) just proud of the game we fought. Because it wasn't pretty (and) we did not play up to our standard or play the way that we were coachedbut guys hung in there."Palmer, with a major assist from the defense, rallied the Raiders back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, just as he had in their victory over Pittsburgh last month.Of course, a pair of Palmer miscues -- an interception of a tipped Palmer pass and a fumble on a strip sack -- had led directly to six points for the Jaguars.Again, cue the comparisons to Plunkett, who also won a Heisman Trophy for a California school and was a No. 1 overall pick and oftentimes took fantastic beatings in winning NFL affairs.So if the no-huddle has had success against the Steelers, Atlanta and Jaguars, why not implement it more often?"It works sometime and it doesn't work sometimes," Palmer said. "It's not like you can just put it in and it's going to work automatically."It's a curveball."Kind of like Palmer leading the comeback victory. Not too many people saw it coming except, maybe, Plunkett himself.

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.”

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr signed a five-year contract extension Friday morning that will pay him $25 million in 2017 and $125 million over the life of the deal.

That’s a lot of scratch. Could’ve been more.

Carr received life-changing money. He didn’t want to handcuff the Raiders front office in the process.

“I just wanted to be a Raider,” Carr said Friday in a press conference. “It’s more than just a team to me. It’s family. The way it went down, it was easy. Both sides wanted it to get done, and it was about family members figuring out to get along. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign other guys who are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not to just take every single dime that we could”

That list is long but it starts with homegrown talents Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack. Jackson is up next, and could get locked up before the regular season starts. The Raiders have some time on Mack – his contract doesn’t expire until after 2018 – and Amari Cooper should be a keeper on down the road.

“The bottom line is we’re able to continue to move forward with it, keep all the players that we need to keep in the correct timing,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “This affords us to do that. We’re going to start on that ASAP.”

Carr got the deal he wanted. The 26-year old found market value and upped the ante for NFL quarterbacks a smidge while deferring some cash payouts – his big-time bonuses are broken up over two years -- to create windows of financial flexibility to sign other players. Carr’s percentage of the salary cap should decrease over time and won’t become an insurmountable burden to his employers. His deal won’t prevent the Raiders from keeping Jackson, Mack, Amari Cooper in time, or other vital veterans in house.

With Carr locked up, the McKenzie can work deals and the timing of them around his centerpiece.

Carr understands the NFL business and his role in the market, but he wants to maintain a competitive window as best he can and understands other guys will draw huge paychecks in the near future.

He’s scheduled to draw the NFL’s largest sum next season. A record $25 million is headed his way, though that total will decrease a bit in time and will certainly he surpassed by Matthew Stafford and possibly Kirk Cousins in the near future.

“I don’t care if they all do. We got our contract done, that’s all that matters to me,” Carr said. “The other thing that was important to me is that we didn’t worry about what other people were going to do or doing. I just wanted to get mine done and make sure that the team had, again like we talked about, flexibility to make sure my friends stay around.”

Carr was intimately involved in the negotiation process. Both sides said it was easy, wrapped up well before Carr’s training-camp contract deadline. Common ground was found in short shrift once talks warmed up – preliminary talks started months ago -- and a deal was ironed out that produced smiles on both sides once the deal was formally done.

Even after taking a relatively soft-line stance on dollars and the timing of payments – Carr could’ve been difficult all year and eventually forced a franchise tag – he’s still the league’s highest-paid player. His salary will now be compared with his stats. He was a second-round draft steal before. Now he’s a big-money player. In short, expectations will rise.

Carr insists it won’t add pressure to next year’s proceedings.

“You could give me a dollar, you could give me $25 million, it doesn’t matter,” Carr said. “To me, my No. 1 goal is to make sure that I give everything that I have to this organization. There’s no pressure. There’s no we’ll be on the 1-yard line and I won’t give it to Marshawn (Lynch), I’ll throw it. None of that stuff. I don’t care about the stats. That’s not my No. 1 objective. I don’t care if I throw 10 touchdowns next year. If we win every game, that’s all I care about.”