Raiders begin four-day mini-camp in Georgia

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Raiders begin four-day mini-camp in Georgia

May 24, 2011
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BUFORD, Ga. (AP) Richard Seymour led 33 of his Oakland teammates through workouts Tuesday in suburban Atlanta - nearly 2,500 miles from the Raiders' headquarters in Alameda, Calif.The six-time Pro Bowl selection isn't looking to relocate. He just felt Georgia was a good place to hold a mini-camp.Seymour lives in the metropolitan area, is paying some of the training costs and likes the easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.Quarterback Jason Campbell, running back Darren McFadden and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey were on hand, but free agents like Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha aren't expected to attend the four-day session."You have to build that foundation in the offseason," said Seymour, who won three Super Bowls with New England before spending the last two years in Oakland. "I think it's going to benefit us with when the season starts."Campbell and Seymour designed the structure of the workouts together with Competitive Edge Sports founder Chip Smith, who oversaw the outdoor session at Buford High School and the indoor session at his training complex in nearby Duluth.The Raiders worked out on the high school field before the Atlanta Falcons' late-morning session.Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan thought the Raiders' turnout was a testament to NFL players' commitment to training during the lockout.Ryan has been running his teammates through workouts at Buford High for a couple of weeks, but added that the Raiders and Falcons have no plans to face off against each other."It was impressive to see how many guys that they had down here," Ryan said. "Everybody is professional about what we do. Even though we are not able to go to the facility at this point, we know that we need to stay in shape."I think everybody has great faith in that we'll get (an end to the lockout) and we'll be able to play our games."Seymour, the former University of Georgia standout who signed a new two-year contract in February to stay with the Raiders for 22.5 million guaranteed, felt responsible to gather players during the NFL lockout.The Raiders are coming off an 8-8 season in which they avoided an eighth straight losing record and swept AFC West rivals Kansas City, San Diego and Denver. Oakland became the first team since the 1970 merger to win all its division games and miss the playoffs."I think we made huge strides last season, but not making the playoffs was a disappointment," Seymour said. "But there is only one happy team at the end of the year, and that was the Green Bay Packers."Seymour said he and his teammates thought they would be training out West."We knew we were going to get together," Seymour said. "We said it early on. We thought we were going to be able to go out to Oakland when the lockout was lifted, and we had to change our plans. We were able to get out there and it's been a good experience for us."Campbell ran the offense, middle linebacker Rolando McClain the defense."The main thing is building the camaraderie that we were getting toward the end of last season," Campbell said. "The next part of it is hearing a play and running some plays instead of just running a lifting weights, we are actually running plays."Other Raiders on the field were receivers Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, fullback Rock Cartwright and rookies Stefen Wisniewski, a second-round draft pick, and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, a third-round pick."All of the guys who could be here - (except for) guys that are not restricted or unrestricted - are here," said Campbell, who lives in Northern Virginia. "You can't ask for much more than that."Seymour and Campbell have yet to meet with Hue Jackson since he was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach after Raiders owner Al Davis fired Tom Cable.But both players spoke to Jackson during the brief lifting of the lockout."I had a flight booked the next morning," Campbell said. "I had a chance to talk to him and I've been in the system before, so (being out here) gives me a chance to help the guys."Seymour has no immediate plans to organize other sessions after he and his teammates finish workouts on Friday."We can't control what's going to happen with the lockout," Seymour said. "As players, we are part of it. It's a negotiation. I'm sure at the end of the day when both sides want a fair deal, we'll be able to come to that. Until then we'll keep working."

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.”