Sept. 3, 2011
RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERSVIDEO
The NFL-mandated deadline to have rosters cut down to 53 players was at 3 p.m. PT this afternoon. And while there is no reason to believe the Raiders missed it, almost two-and-a-half hours later, they had not made their cuts public.Neither, though, had Jacksonville, Seattle or Washington.It all lends credence to the notion that the Raiders were scouring the waiver wires in anticipation of adding a player or two and, thus, making more cuts."As you know, this is a process," Jackson did say. "And as I told you, we're just going to continue to uncover every opportunity that we can to get this team better. Obviously, there's nothing that's totally in ink just yet. The league didn't say it all had to be there right this second. We know there's deadlines that we need to adhere by, but we are always trying to make this team better."Whatever the deal, Raiders senior executive John Herrera said the roster would not be revealed for "at least two hours" and coach Hue Jackson would not address any transactions in his 4 p.m. conference call with beat reporters, who had asked if the call could be moved until after the roster was posted, to no avail.Jackson said he would address the roster specifics following Sunday's practice (Oakland goes at 12:30 p.m. at its Alameda compound).Still several reports surfaced during the day that had four defensive backs among the 26 players Oakland cut -- two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard, who had signed with the Raiders eight days earlier and saw his lone preseason action Friday at Seattle, and three 2010 draft picks in fifth-round cornerback Stevie Johnson, seventh-round cornerback Jeremy Ware and seventh-round safety Stevie Brown.Asked how Ware and Brown had acquitted themselves this preseason, Jackson said, "You're talking about two young men who've been here, who came back, ready to compete and give it everything they've got and I think those young men went out there every day and competed. Obviously, Jeremy had a little ding (ankle injury) here and there but I think the guys, as far as training camp is concerned, came to work everyday and went to the games and played as well as they could play."
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.