By the 2012 seasons end, the Raiders will certainly be inthe frequent flyers club.The Silver and Black will lead the NFL in total milestraveled for the upcoming season, according to calculations by Grantland.com.The Raiders will travel 28,700 miles as the crow flies toget to and from their eight road games. Five trips to the Eastern Time Zonetack on the miles for Oakland, including lengthytrips to Miami, Pittsburghand Carolina.Those long road trips could make for a rough road record forthe Raiders. Even with private jets and five-star hotels, teams that have totravel long distances have fared poorly in recent NFL history. Over the past15 seasons, teams that have flown 2000 or more miles have won just 39.8 percentof their games.That stat should give plenty of fodder for complaints frommembers of the NFC and AFC West divisions who routinely top the league indistance traveled. The 49ers led the NFL with 29,112 round-trip miles traveledlast season, although they mitigated that high number to some extent by stayingin Ohio between playing the Bengals and theEagles rather than fly back to San Francisco just to travel back east a few days later.After taking out those saved miles, the 49ers total traveldistance was second-most to the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco and Seattlehave held the title for the longest distance traveled in seven of the past 10seasons. The Raiders and the Chargers took the other three.Niners and Raiders fans can aim their gripes at the AFCNorth teams, which have regularly received the most-favorable a.k.a. shortesttravel schedules. The Steelers, for example, flew just 5,682 miles round-tripin 2008 and played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern Time Zone. Nine of the10 shortest travel schedules from the past decade came from the AFC North.If its any consolation to Raiders fans discouraged by theirchallenging travel schedule, the 49ers had to travel to five games in theEastern Time Zone including a playoff game and four more in the CentralTime Zone in 1998. They averaged more than 4,000 miles per road trip. San Francisco stillmanaged to go 12-4 that season before falling in a divisional playoff game.
Colin Becht is an intern with CSNBayArea.com and a senior at Northwestern University
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.
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.