Raiders key matchup No. 1: McFadden vs. Johnson


Raiders key matchup No. 1: McFadden vs. Johnson

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Broncos matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (CBS) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Key matchup No. 3: Dennis Allen vs. John Fox
Key matchup No. 2: Michael Huff vs. Peyton Manning
Tale of the tape
Darren McFadden: 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, fifth season, Arkansas
Steven Johnson: 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, rookie, KansasDENVER -- Perhaps Raiders coach Dennis Allen put it best this week when asked how he prepared for Darren McFadden in last year's season opener as Denver's defensive coordinator."I tried to get as many hats around him as you can," Allen said. "We didn't sleep a lot that week."And for good reason. All McFadden has done against the Broncos of late is run wild, and run some more.Consider: McFadden's 637 career rushing yards against Denver, in seven games, are his most against against any opponent, and he is shooting for his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game against the Broncos on Sunday, having already run for 165 yards on Oct. 24, 2010, 119 yards on Dec. 19, 2010 and 150 yards on Sept. 12, 2011.Not that McFadden, who is listed as "probable" to play with a sore shoulder, has Denver circled on his calendar, at least, not that he's willing to admit publicly. The Raiders have won four straight in the Mile High City."It's one of those things, going against Denver, you get it going," he said with a shrug. "I feel like it's something I did over the last few years and I want to just try and continue to do that every time I go out against them."It's just how the ball bounces. You go out there and have a good game, it just so happens it's been against Denver most of the time."And with middle linebacker Joe Mays suspended for this game for his violent hit on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, the task of spying McFadden could just to fall upon Mays' backup in undrafted rookie Steven Johnson, who led the Broncos with 15 tackles in the preseason but has yet to register one in the regular season. And he's only appeared in one game so far, at Atlanta.That would be a huge task to ask of the rookie, though, and Broncos coach John Fox said Friday he was not going to reveal who would be playing at any of the linebacker positions until game time."Its pretty evident theyre trying many different ways to get the ball in (McFadden's) hands," Fox said. "It doesnt take long to turn on the tape and see him rip off that sixty-some yarder. He did something very similar to us the last time he was here."So hes definitely one of the more explosive backs in the National Football League. All you've got to do is turn on the tape, and our players have seen that thus far."The Raiders, no doubt, want to see more of it. Oakland is 8-2 when McFadden runs for at least 100 yards.

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.”