Raiders re-sign Huff, linked to Cromartie


Raiders re-sign Huff, linked to Cromartie

Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comMichael Huff sat back and enjoyed the rumor mill that pondered his next home.The second-team All-Pro free safety's contract had expired but as a fifth-year player, he also became an unrestricted free agent in the process."It was funny because every week it was a different story," Huff said Sunday afternoon. "I know everybody associated me with Rob Ryan going to Dallas, and I'm from Dallas so everybody put two and two together. The whole time I knew what was going on and the Raiders knew what was going on."So there was really no panic on our side."The joke, then, was on a wondering fan base and confused media as Huff re-signed with Oakland and was in Napa for camp, though he cannot practice until Thursday, per league rules with any veteran free agent that signs after the lockout was lifted. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Many saw the No. 7 overall pick out of Texas in the 2006 draft as a bust playing out of position at strong safety his first few years in the NFL, but he has come on of late. Six of Huff's career seven interceptions have come in the past two seasons and he has started 66 of the 80 games in which he's appeared.Huff, 28, has also forced three fumbles and recovered two with a safety and 274 career tackles.Last season, he had four sacks with three interceptions and seven passes defensed."Huff is another one of our tremendous Raiders," said coach Hue Jackson. "he likes being here, likes being with his teammates, loves this organization and truly believes we're building something and wanted to be a part of it and we're fortunate to have him back, and on we go."With Huff not yet in camp, Tyvon Branch moved from strong safety to free safety in practice with Mike Mitchell at strong safety. And before the lockout hit, Oakland re-signed safety Hiram Eugene to a four-year, 10.25-million contract, presumably to replace Huff.There had been rumblings that Oakland could move Huff to a cornerback position with Nnamdi Asomugha now in Philadelphia.But Jackson said Huff is "locked in at safety."Cornerback Chris Johnson said Huff's return will help with the continuity of the secondary."It's perfect," Johnson said. "We know he's going to be in the post, wherever he's supposed to be, he's going to be there. It's a blessing that we got him back. It's time to play football now."Huff said he had no doubt he'd return to Oakland because of the "30 percent rule," which states that a player's newest deal cannot be more than 30 of said player's rookie contract."I didn't field any offers becauseI knew I'd pretty much be back," Huff said. "(Other teams) called but I didn't answer."(The Raiders) drafted me so I've been around here through the bad times. So I'm looking forward to turning this around and being here through the good times."
Also, two days after Asomugha signed with Philadelphia, more reports are swirling that the Raiders are looking at unrestricted free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie.Meanwhile, all is quiet on the Zach Miller and Michael Bush free agent fronts. At the moment, anyway. Miller is an unrestricted free agent while Bush is restricted.

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.”