Raiders

Raiders reward Jack Del Rio with new four-year deal

Raiders reward Jack Del Rio with new four-year deal

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio had two years left on his original contract. It was sent through the paper shredder on Friday.

Del Rio was given a new four-year contract that includes a raise over his previous deal and carries through the 2020 season.

“We are excited to continue building on the strong foundation that has been established and this is a significant step in achieving that goal,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement.

Del Rio was a major factor in the Raiders’ return to relevance, and changed the culture of a losing franchise that now expects to win. The team has a stable of young talent guided by a head coach well respected in the locker room and around the league.

The Raiders went 7-9 in his first season and 12-4 last year, a record that ended a long playoff drought.

A Del Rio extension was no surprise. It had been in the works a few weeks, with productive talks between both sides. Del Rio was the NFL’s lowest-paid head coach entering this hiring period, and deserved a raise and an extension despite having a few years left on his original deal.

This is another sign Davis believes he has the right people in important positions and wants to give his football product long-term stability. He extended general manager Reggie McKenzie’s contract last summer and Del Rio on Friday.

Franchise quarterback Derek Carr will likely receive a contract extension this offseason, and 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack will get a long-term deal when the time is right.

That should keep the Raiders competitive with strong leadership in the front office, the coaching staff and on both sides of the football.

Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem

lynch-anthem.jpg
AP

Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem

OAKLAND -- Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat down during the national anthem prior to Saturday's preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams, as he did the week before at Arizona. 

Lynch hasn't addressed his reason for sitting during the national anthem, an action several others have used to protest racial issues and the mistreatment of minorities in this country. He has sat intermitently during his career, while standing at attention and remaining in the locker room at others. 

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularized the movement last year by kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner. Lynch was retired in 2016, but voiced support for Kaepernick in an interview with Conan O'Briend. 

Lynch wasn't the only Raider making a gesture during the anthem. Rookie safety Shalom Luani kneeled during part of the song. Quarterback Derek Carr placed his hand on Khalil Mack's shoulder during the song. Bruce Irvin had his fist in the air. 

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has been vocal about his protest while sitting through the anthem twice in as many preseason games. 

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...