ALAMEDA -- Fans with T.P. Time Fever may finally get a prescriptionand it has nothing to do with cowbell.Rather, Raiders third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor should dress for the first time this season come Sunday against Cleveland."Our anticipation is that we would suit him up as the third quarterback this week," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said."Hes one of those guys where we want to at least get him up, get him suited up andhe needs to start getting some, what it feels like to suit up on game day and well see if we play him in the game."And if he does play, would he be limited to certain packages, or will he have the entire playbook at his disposal?"If he plays, wed have the plays that hes going to run," Allen said. "Its our offense, if he plays in the game. But I think were kind of getting ahead of ourselves right there."Besides, Matt Leinart is technically the backup to Carson Palmer.And simply dressing for the first time this season -- he was active five times last year and got on the field once, when he was called for a false start -- is not that much to get worked up over, Pryor said."Thats not something thats my goal -- Ive suited up for plenty of games before," Pryor said. "But its a step to be with this organization and just go out and warm up with those guys and be around Carson and see how he handles a real game situation, so its going to be a good time."Usually, before (I was not active) because we needed another special teams guy, but he said hes going to suit me up, but we havent ran any plays or anything like that."Pryor has always been an intriguing figure, and with only five games left in the season it's getting close for the Raiders to see exactly what they have in the QB project. So does general manager Reggie McKenzie especially care?"I care because that's the only way I can evaluate him, is to play him," McKenzie said. "Now, when he plays, how much he plays, that will be a charge to the coaching staff, but yes. We've got a third of the season left, and this is a good time to try to figure out what works best for him."A year ago, former Raiders coach Hue Jackson had an entire package of plays ready for Pryor at home against Kansas City. But then, the wheels came off. Darren McFadden suffered his Lisfranc injury, Kyle Boller was ineffective and Carson Palmer made his debut, despite not being ready, when the Raiders were already trailing 21-0.In that game, Pryor was on the field for one play, lining up as a receiver before going in motion and settling under center for the snap -- Boller was in the shotgun formation -- before being whistled for a false start. Pryor would not see the field again until this past preseason, amid waves of speculation that he would change positions."The coaches know I work my butt off to play quarterback," Pryor said. "The biggest critic of an individual should be yourself and I know the things that I have to get better at and I had to get better at. So as long as you can fix those things and look at yourself actually in the mirror and say 'This is why Im not playing' or 'This is why the other guys are in front of me' and if you can really do that, and be truthful to yourself, thats how you get better. And thats what Ive been doing."
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.”