Raiders S Boyd impresses in camp, plans to stick


Raiders S Boyd impresses in camp, plans to stick

Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- He was one of the Raiders' more pleasant surprises in training camp.Just don't tell it to Jerome Boyd. Or ask the safety why after two underachieving camps, he's suddenly practicing and playing like a guy who figures to stick to the Oakland roster when final cuts are made Saturday to get the team down to 53 players from the current 80.
"To tell you the truth, I don't know," Boyd said, when asked what the difference has been for him this time around. "I worked really hard all offseason. I wasn't with the team last year, and that's a lot of motivation to get back and be on the team. During that time, it hurt. But you can't stay inside and hurt. You've got to go outside and work. That helped a lot."Signed by Oakland as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Oregon in 2009, Boyd appeared in one game for the Raiders that year and spent most of that season on the practice squad before making his NFL debut in the season finale against Baltimore. He had two tackles on the kickoff coverage team that day.But last year, he was waived on Sept. 4 and was not re-signed until March 2.In camp, the former college strong-side linebacker has taken advantage of Mike Mitchell's absence due to an undisclosed injury, purportedly to his left leg as he was on crutches last week.The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Boyd is seeing time at strong safety and at linebacker in the nickel defense, covering tight ends. That was the role Mitchell excelled at in 2010."I am extremely comfortable with it," Boyd said. "It doesn't matter. Strong safety, free safety, come down (and) play nickel, WILL (linebacker), SAM (linebacker). It doesn't matter. Wherever they feel they want to put me, I feel like I can play there. Wherever they need me, I will play."Boyd has 11 tackles, including a team-high nine solo tackles, in the preseason."When I was around him a year ago," said coach Hue Jackson, "we let him do some things and it didn't work out. I think he came back more determined, more focused and he wants an opportunity to make this ballclub. So he's working at it each and every day."Besides getting Jackson's attention, they also share a prep alma mater -- Dorsey High School in Los Angeles. Might that serve as a tie-breaker come cutdown day? Again, don't bring that up to Boyd. He simply wants his play to speak for itself."I am getting more looks to do more things," Boyd said. "I have done pretty good so I have earned more time to show everything that I can do."I feel it's gone pretty good. I think this is (my) best performance in three years."

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.”