Raiders ride special teams to 24-17 win over Browns

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Raiders ride special teams to 24-17 win over Browns

BOX SCORE
OAKLAND -- A day that began with a tribute and celebration to late owner Al Davis ended with questions about the Oakland Raiders' future following a serious injury to starting quarterback Jason Campbell.The Raiders overcame Campbell's broken collarbone by getting a 101-yard kickoff return from Jacoby Ford and Kevin Boss' 35-yard touchdown catch from punter Shane Lechler on a fake field goal in a 24-17 victory Sunday over the Cleveland Browns in the first home game since Davis' death."This football team will be fine," coach Hue Jackson said. "This team is a little bit more resilient than everyone thinks they are."They showed that Sunday after Campbell was knocked out late in the first half when he landed hard on his shoulder after being hit at the end of a scramble by Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita.Kyle Boller entered in relief and struggled at times but the Raiders (4-2) got enough big plays on special teams to hold off the Browns (2-3) and win consecutive games for the first time this season."We honored one of the greatest Raiders ever in Coach Davis," Jackson said. "I know he's looking down saying 'Just win, baby.' That's what we did. That's what we do here. We win. I don't care what it looks like. I don't care if it's pretty it's ugly or whatever."It was an emotional day at the Coliseum with many old-time Raiders coming back to honor Davis, the man who had been the face of the franchise for nearly a half-century before dying Oct. 8 of an undisclosed illness at age 82.Coaches and team officials all wore black shirts with a simple two-letter message supplanted on the Raiders shield: "AL." The most poignant moment came during a halftime ceremony with dozens of former players standing in a circle around the Raiders emblem at midfield. Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden then lit a caldron on the plaza level in the corner of the stadium with the public address announcer saying the fire will "burn forever" for fans to remember Davis.On a day full of tributes, the one Davis would have appreciated most is the one on the scoreboard."We all knew the task at hand and we just made sure we made the most of it," cornerback Stanford Routt said.Boller completed a 27-yard swing pass to Ford that set up Sebastian Janikowski's 48-yard field goal that made it 17-7 late in the third quarter.Oakland then took over again at the Cleveland 25 after a botched handoff between McCoy and Montario Hardesty. That's when Jackson and special teams coach John Fassel once again successfully went to their book of tricks. On fourth down from the 35, Lechler - the holder - threw to a wide-open Boss in the flat and Boss raced to the end zone for the score that made it 24-7."It's just taking advantage of what the defense is doing," Boss said. "It's a pretty simple pass and a pretty simple catch. I think all the credit goes to Coach Fassel for being able to recognize it's something we should take advantage of. And to Coach Jackson for having the guts to call the play."Oakland's win last week in Houston was aided by a 35-yard run on a fake punt by Rock Cartwright as Jackson has followed his credo to "live on the edge."That lead proved to be enough for the Raiders, who harassed Colt McCoy and held Cleveland's running game to 65 yards. McCoy completed just 21 of 45 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, including a 12-yarder to Mohamed Massaquoi that cut it to 24-17 with 1:06 remaining after Jackson bypassed a chip-shot field goal to go for it unsuccessfully on fourth-and-1 from the 5.The Browns recovered the onside kick, but were unable to generate a first down and Oakland won it."We fought till the end," McCoy said. "Eventually, we thought, we're going to catch a break. In the huddle, after we got the onside kick, we thought we had a chance. We had a minute, that's a long time. We got it on the 50. We just didn't capitalize."Darren McFadden rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown for the Raiders.After a pregame video tribute and moment of silence for Davis, the Raiders started fast. They forced a three-and-out to start the game with safety Matt Giordano sacking McCoy with a blitz on third down. Oakland them methodically moved 88 yards in 15 plays, converting four third-down opportunities and scoring on McFadden's 4-yard run.The Raiders were moving again when Campbell slid headfirst on a scramble and lost the ball. That led to Cleveland's first score on McCoy's 1-yard TD pass to Alex Smith.Oakland answered with Ford's 101-yard kickoff return - his fourth TD return in less than two years as a pro."Typically, if you have one special teams score, that's enough to get you nailed," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "And we had two."Notes: Browns RB Peyton Hillis was limited in the second half by an injured left hamstring and will have an MRI on Monday. ... Fujita left with a concussion. ... Raiders C Samson Satele sprained his knee but told Jackson he likely will play next week.

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.”