Raiders notes (830): CB Johnson returns to practice

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Raiders notes (830): CB Johnson returns to practice

Aug. 30, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- Raiders fans weary of their young cornerbacks getting the Elvis "Toast" Patterson treatment this preseason might have reason to rejoice, or at least, exhale.Chris Johnson, who underwent an undisclosed surgery two weeks ago he likened to getting an "oil change," practiced Tuesday for the first time since the procedure. And while he said he is not playing in the Raiders' exhibition finale Friday in Seattle, Johnson said, "Hands down, I'll be there Monday night" in the season opener at Denver on Sept. 12."By the grace of God, I think that's why I'm back so fast," Johnson added. "He has everything in control of my body. All I can do is go out there and do what the coaches ask me to do. I don't even think about it. I've felt better the last couple weeks than I've felt in the last two years. So it's a big improvement I feel in my body. I'm just ready to go."As Johnson has been sidelined, he could only watch as rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke and second-year cornerback Walter McFadden have had their troubles. Van Dyke surrendered 73 yards on four Drew Brees passes in New Orleans' opening 80-yard drive Sunday.RECAP: Saints double up Raiders at the O.co 40-20
"It's tough, but ... when I first came in it was the same way," Johnson said. "It just takes one or two plays for you to just knock a ball down or pick the ball off and they'll respect you. If you don't do that, they're going to continue to pick on you in this league."Our guys, they can run with anybody, so we just have to turn our heads (and look for the ball). People see we're there. All you've got to do is turn your head and it's a pick. I told the guys, 'Don't worry about it. You've got good quarterbacks in this league ... you're playing elite quarterbacks. Just don't let one game determine your season.'"I asked Johnson, a Green Bay seventh-round draft choice in 2003, if it was tough accepting that message as a youngster."It was because, as a man you always want to be able to back up your ground and back up your last name," he said. "It's kind of frustrating to the guys, but I think the young guys are are actually getting the input they need from the coaches and also some of the players."I think it's going to be a good (experience) for us once we get into the regular season."Chekwa making a switch? -- Fourth-round draft pick Chimdi Chekwa, who played cornerback at Ohio State, is close to making the full-time transition to safety after being switched last week and playing there against the Saints."I'm a rookie," Chekwa said. "I'm going to try to get on the field any way I can -- special teams, safety, corner, whatever it is. Do whatever they ask of me and see what happens."At corner, you're kind of locked into one side of the field. At safety, your eyes open up. You see a lot more than what you usually see at corner ... you've got to have eye control at any position on defense, but at the safeties, it's a lot different because you see so much more. That's something I learned in the past week."Showing his leadership skills -- Center Samson Satele said Oakland quarterbacks got hit 121 times by their count last year.Obviously, that's something they want to change. Especially with Jason Campbell exhibiting newfound leadership skills."You can see it," Satele said. "Guys used to leave the huddle last year when he's not even done with the call. This year, he's keeping them in. You can just see little things like that. You can see how comfortable he is back there, with us giving him time to throw the ball."Seymour sits out, again -- Richard Seymour (hamstring) did not practice, but coach Hue Jackson did not mind. Even if Seymour last practiced full early last week and did not dress Sunday."He's doing well," Jackson said. "He'll be fine. Richard will be fine. Again, as I tell you guys, I get to reserve the right with some of these guys, and some of these guys I like to keep under wraps and make sure they're ready to go. And Richard is one of those guys."Also, rookie left guard Stefen Wisniewski sat out practice with what Jackson described as "one of those little dings."Long time, no talk -- Jackson was asked if he had spoken to Tom Cable since he was dismissed by Al Davis and resurfaced in Seattle."Mainly, when coaches leave, you don't really talk for a while," Jackson said. "I think there needs to be some time. I'm sure we will (talk) in the future. We haven't (talked) at this point but that's part of it and I understand and respect that. I will speak to him on Friday if our paths cross. But I think it's all good."Quote of the day: "Oh wow. A lot of things have surprised me. I'm 0-3." - Hue Jackson, on his first training camp as a head coach in the NFL.

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.”

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr signed a five-year contract extension Friday morning that will pay him $25 million in 2017 and $125 million over the life of the deal.

That’s a lot of scratch. Could’ve been more.

Carr received life-changing money. He didn’t want to handcuff the Raiders front office in the process.

“I just wanted to be a Raider,” Carr said Friday in a press conference. “It’s more than just a team to me. It’s family. The way it went down, it was easy. Both sides wanted it to get done, and it was about family members figuring out to get along. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign other guys who are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not to just take every single dime that we could”

That list is long but it starts with homegrown talents Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack. Jackson is up next, and could get locked up before the regular season starts. The Raiders have some time on Mack – his contract doesn’t expire until after 2018 – and Amari Cooper should be a keeper on down the road.

“The bottom line is we’re able to continue to move forward with it, keep all the players that we need to keep in the correct timing,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “This affords us to do that. We’re going to start on that ASAP.”

Carr got the deal he wanted. The 26-year old found market value and upped the ante for NFL quarterbacks a smidge while deferring some cash payouts – his big-time bonuses are broken up over two years -- to create windows of financial flexibility to sign other players. Carr’s percentage of the salary cap should decrease over time and won’t become an insurmountable burden to his employers. His deal won’t prevent the Raiders from keeping Jackson, Mack, Amari Cooper in time, or other vital veterans in house.

With Carr locked up, the McKenzie can work deals and the timing of them around his centerpiece.

Carr understands the NFL business and his role in the market, but he wants to maintain a competitive window as best he can and understands other guys will draw huge paychecks in the near future.

He’s scheduled to draw the NFL’s largest sum next season. A record $25 million is headed his way, though that total will decrease a bit in time and will certainly he surpassed by Matthew Stafford and possibly Kirk Cousins in the near future.

“I don’t care if they all do. We got our contract done, that’s all that matters to me,” Carr said. “The other thing that was important to me is that we didn’t worry about what other people were going to do or doing. I just wanted to get mine done and make sure that the team had, again like we talked about, flexibility to make sure my friends stay around.”

Carr was intimately involved in the negotiation process. Both sides said it was easy, wrapped up well before Carr’s training-camp contract deadline. Common ground was found in short shrift once talks warmed up – preliminary talks started months ago -- and a deal was ironed out that produced smiles on both sides once the deal was formally done.

Even after taking a relatively soft-line stance on dollars and the timing of payments – Carr could’ve been difficult all year and eventually forced a franchise tag – he’s still the league’s highest-paid player. His salary will now be compared with his stats. He was a second-round draft steal before. Now he’s a big-money player. In short, expectations will rise.

Carr insists it won’t add pressure to next year’s proceedings.

“You could give me a dollar, you could give me $25 million, it doesn’t matter,” Carr said. “To me, my No. 1 goal is to make sure that I give everything that I have to this organization. There’s no pressure. There’s no we’ll be on the 1-yard line and I won’t give it to Marshawn (Lynch), I’ll throw it. None of that stuff. I don’t care about the stats. That’s not my No. 1 objective. I don’t care if I throw 10 touchdowns next year. If we win every game, that’s all I care about.”