Jan. 19, 2011RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO
ALAMEDA (AP) New OaklandRaiders coach Hue Jackson has started the process of putting togetherhis new staff, getting permission to talk to Baltimore assistant AlSaunders about filling the offensive coordinator vacancy.Ravens coach John Harbaugh saidTuesday that the team allowed Saunders to talk to the Raiders becausehe would never want to deny a coach an opportunity."We'll just have to see whathappens," Harbaugh said. "Obviously you never want to lose really goodcoaches. Al Saunders is a great coach and a great man. He's tremendousand he's been huge for us."Saunders has been an offensiveconsultant for Baltimore the past two seasons, working on the staffwith Jackson in 2009. Jackson went to Oakland last year as offensivecoordinator and was promoted to head coach in place of Tom Cableearlier this week.
RELATED: Al Davis states his case against Tom Cable
Jackson said Tuesday at hisintroductory news conference that he will remain the primaryplay-caller in Oakland as head coach. He mentioned Saunders as someonehe would like to interview for the coordinator job. Saunders hasinterviewed in the past for head coach and coordinator jobs in Oakland.
VIDEO: Hue Jackson introductory news conference
Saunders has been a coach for nearlythree decades in the NFL. He went 17-22 in two-plus seasons as headcoach for the San Diego Chargers from 1986-88 and has spent most of hiscareer as a respected offensive assistant.He spent eight seasons runningoffenses in Kansas City, Washington and St. Louis. He spent two yearswith current Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell with the Redskins.The offensive coordinator job is justone of many the Raiders need to fill. The only assistants still undercontract are defensive line coach Mike Waufle and defensive backs coachKevin Ross. Defensive coordinator John Marshall will not be back nextseason, although some of the other assistants could still be retained.
RELATED: Marshall's tenure with Raiders appears to be over
Update (8:39 p.m.): The Raiders announced they have officially signed first-round draft pick Gareon Conley.
NAPA – The Raiders first full squad practice starts Saturday morning. Gareon Conley will be available to participate. The first-round cornerback agreed on terms of his rookie contract on Friday afternoon, a league source confirmed to , allowing him to report without missing anything major.
Conley is in the Bay Area and expected to sign the contract Friday night at the Napa Valley Marriott.
According to this years rookie wage scale, as published by overthecap.com, the No. 24 overall pick is slotted to make $10.467 million over the life of a four-year contract. The Raiders also hold a fifth-year option to extend the deal. Conley’s contract includes a $5.752 million signing bonus and a $1.9 million base salary in 2017.
Conley missed four days of pre-camp instruction designed for rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans, but shouldn’t be considered a setback. Conley should be able to hit the ground running when he takes the field.
That’s a good thing considering they’ll need him to make an instant impact as a slot cornerback at least.
Conley’s situation could have been complicated by an ongoing investigation into a sexual assault allegation stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland. Conley has staunchly maintained his innocence in regard to the allegation, and has not been arrested or charged with a crime. The Raiders remain confident in their selection and the pre-draft research that went into it. It's uncertain at this time whether or how much Conley's legal situation played into contract talks.
CBS Sports was first to report the news of Conley and the Raiders agreeing to terms.
Donald Penn is set to earn over $7 million this season in the second of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with Oakland. But the 34-year-old veteran wants more.
Penn, who has started all 16 games in each of the last nine NFL seasons, is not reporting to training camp because he is unhappy with his contract situation, according to Ian Rapoport.
Penn reportedly wants to be paid like a Top 10 left tackle. He played like one last year. He allowed just 28 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps and gave up just one sack, though it was the takedown where Derek Carr broke his fibula.
Penn stands 6-foot-5, weighs 305 pounds, and -- at left tackle -- occupies a crucial position of the offensive line that protects prized quarterback Derek Carr.
The Raiders don't have another solid option at left tackle, unless they disrupt the line and move left guard Kelechi Osemele over.
Penn has seen the Raiders invest heavily in offensive linemen since he signed on, with massive contract given to Osemele and Rodney Hudson in recent seasons. The Raiders just gave right guard Gabe Jackson a five-year, $56 million contract extension.
The Raiders should have $14.825 million in salary cap space remaining this season after the release of Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones.