Raiders key matchup No. 3: McClain vs. Jones-Drew


Raiders key matchup No. 3: McClain vs. Jones-Drew

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Jaguars matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS), at Coliseum.Raiders LB Rolando McClain vs. Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-DrewTale of the tape:
McClain (55): 6-foot-4, 259 pounds, fourth season, Alabama
Jones-Drew (32): 5-foot-7, 210 pounds, seventh season, UCLAALAMEDA -- Wait, what? Wasn't Rolando McClain just "benched" in the Raiders' last game by playing only in 17 often team's 55 defensive snaps?Well, yeah, but that was against a pass-happy offense in Atlanta. Jacksonville, though, is a run-first outfit that features the diminutive three-time Pro Bowler from Antioch and De La Salle High School. And with Maurice Jones-Drew serving as the Jaguars' bell cow, and McClain playing primarily against the run, these two will cross paths on Sunday."He does everything well," McClain said of Jones-Drew. "Thats the characteristic of a good back. He does everything well. He runs inside, he can run outside, he has the speed, he has the power to do it all. Hes a complete back."RELATED: Raiders' status report for Jacksonville game
Two years ago, Jones-Drew rushed for 101 yards in the Jaguars' 38-31 victory over the Raiders in Jacksonville. McClain did not play in that game due to a foot injury."Thats all they did was run the ball," McClain said. "They had 200-plus yards. That was the game. They had the ball a lot. We had to stop the run and we didnt. They scored. They ran the ball to keep us off the field."Thats all I remember is them running the ball. You have to take that personally. We have to go out and try to at least stop that run. If you dont do anything else, stop the run, let them know you cant do this two times in a row."Jones-Drew is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, the second-highest of his career, after sitting out training camp as a contract hold out. The East Bay native, who grew up a fan of Raiders running back Napoleon Kaufman has only played in the Coliseum once in his life -- in high school -- and having also played at UCLA, is just 1-4 in games in the Bay Area ever since.So how did missing the entire preseason affect him?"It didnt hurt at all," he said. "Ive been playing football for a long time, and so I think more than anything, it didnt allow me to take those unnecessary hits you get during training camp and OTAs and things like that, so I was much fresher coming in. I trained while I was away just as if I was in training camp, two or three a days, or whatever I could to keep my body, so when I did come back I could be in the best shape possible."RELATED: Raiders avoid blackout, Jags game to be televised locallyJones-Drew rushed for a career high-tying 177 yards in Week 3 at Indianapolis."He's short, and he's not tiny," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "He's pretty-well put together. he's an outstanding running backalthough he's not tall, he's not a little back at all. He's a solid back."The biggest thing is, you've got to be able to wrap this guy up because he just pings off of people like a pinball."Jones-Drew said he expects to have about 50 people at the game."Its funny," he said, "theyre more, I guess die-hard football fans than I am, and a bunch of them are Raiders fans, so thats what I was growing up. Theyre going to be torn but I hope they choose the right way."Were going to have to bring our hard hats. Its going to be tough game. We know it's going to crazy. I tell everybody here how crazy the fans are (in Oakland), so its going to be nice. And Its going to be a great challenge for us. We cant back down from it. Were going to be ready to go out there and play."But will McClain?

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.”