Second Chiefs-Raiders contest boasts new look

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Second Chiefs-Raiders contest boasts new look

ALAMEDA -- Two months may not seem a long time in the real world, but in the NFL it can be an eternity.Back on Oct. 23, the Raiders still had Darren McFadden as their lead running back. Jacoby Ford was rounding back into form as their electric kick returner and playmaking receiver and Carson Palmer was still picking the cobwebs out of his ears.Kansas City, meanwhile, had Matt Cassel under center and Todd Haley as its coach.With so much turnover and turmoil as a backdrop, it will be as though the Raiders and Chiefs will be meeting for the first time this season on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Kyle Orton is the Chiefs quarterback now and Romeo Crennel is their interim coach.
"It's two totally different teams because it's later on in the season and these teams have already seen each other once," said Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, who did not play in that first game between the two teams either as he was still recuperating from a sprained ankle suffered in Week 3."I think teams are going to have to come out with their adjustments and go after it...it's going to be a different game, but not because I didn't play (the first time) or Carson wasn't familiar with us, or anything like that. It's just going to be two different games by two different teams."The Raiders, of course, would like a different result. The Chiefs beat the Raiders that day, 28-0, at the O.co Coliseum and the week leading up to the game was one of self-imposed and ultimately futile cloak-and-dagger gamesmanship.With Jason Campbell suffering a broken collarbone the previous week and the Raiders trading for Palmer during the week, coach Hue Jackson played coy as to who would start at quarterback -- Palmer or Kyle Boller.Turns out Boller got the start, but was not told of it until the day before. But after a rough outing, Palmer got in on the action in the third quarter and threw three interceptions.Now, Palmer is acclimated and coming off his most efficient game as a Raider in completing 80 percent of his passes (32 of 40) for 367 yards and a touchdown without an interception in the 28-27 loss to Detroit."We look at the first game because the system is still the system," Crennel said. "Carson now is more established in that system, he understands the players that he's working with better, he understands his weapons better and he's using those guys to his advantage. So, it will be a different type game than it was the first time we played them."So what, if anything, does Palmer glean from the first encounter with the Chiefs, when he was essentially thrown into the fire?"I'm not taking much from that game," he said. "They're a different team. We're a different offense now. Personnel-wise, I guess it helps a little bit, but they're playing a little bit differently now, and we're definitely playing a little bit differently. And it's in their environment."It's going to be a hostile environment. It's going to be wild. There's going to be a lot of energy from last weeks game, the new head coach thing. They're all fighting for him, and the fans, I'm sure, are fighting for him. It's going to be a much different game than the last time we played them."By the time Palmer entered that game, the Raiders trailed 21-0.And the nine-year pro has also been in situations where the "return" game is between two markedly different teams."A lot of times those divisions games, not every year, but there are a lot of coaching changes that shake things up," Palmer said. "Or you play a division team early in the year and you don't play them again (for a while), kind of like this situation. It's happened before."You watch the film and you kind of digest what they did to you last time. Then it's kind of a guessing game. Are they going to do the same thing or are they going to completely change it up? Were preparing, really, for everything. Don't know what we're going to see, but we're going to have to adjust on the fly and make plays when it comes down to it."

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.”