Sense of sadness envelopes Raiders


Sense of sadness envelopes Raiders

HOUSTON -- A sense of sadness wrapped in remembrance enveloped the Raiders' team hotel as Oakland's traveling party got word of owner Al Davis passing away in California on Saturday morning.The team traveled to Houston on Friday and was told as a group of Davis' passing in a team meeting Saturday morning."It was hard," Raiders rookie coach Hue Jackson said of the mood of the team after telling the players. "Obviously, we want him to live forever. And I think our players never thought anything would ever happen to him because he's Coach. But I think they're sad, I think they're disappointed, but we'll channel it the right way. We're going to play a football game and we understand what his message would be to us -- Just win, baby. And that's what we're looking forward to doing."RELATED: Official Raiders statement
The Raiders face the Texans on Sunday, but Davis' legacy was first and foremost on their minds."It isn't 'Let's win one for the Gipper,'" defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "I feel as if he would want us to go out and do what we do, and the end result would be winning. There will definitely be a moment of silence and definitely a lot of passion, for sure. We have to go out and emulate what he would want us to be."Seymour joined the Raiders in a trade with New England the week before the 2009 season began."In my short time of knowing him," Seymour added, "his passion, his will to win, will forever be with me."In my mind he's a legend. He'll always be remembered, not only in my heart or in the Raiders' heart, as a foundation in the NFL.Seymour said he last spoke with Davis "a few days after (the) Buffalo" game."He transcends black, white, it didn't matter," Seymour said. "To him it was about winning. It was about people. Even when you go to politics. It didn't matter, Republican, Democrat, he was about the end result. We all can learn a lot from him."Punter Shane Lechler was drafted by Davis and the Raiders in 2000 and Lechler said in a conversation with his wife earlier in the day he took stock of his own NFL life.RATTO: Raiders' future -- the pressing questions
"He's meant a lot, he's provided for me and my family a lot of great things," Lechler said. "You can look around at everything we have and we kind of owe him a lot. He gave me a shot here and it's worked out for me and I appreciate that from him and his family."Defensive end Jarvis Moss received a somewhat congratulatory phone call from Davis this week after his recent play."It was just a great experience," Moss said. "For him to be gone right now, it's tough for the whole Raider family. My heart just goes out to Coach Davis' immediate family and may he rest in peace."Running back and special teams standout Rock Cartwright echoed similar sentiments."Awesome man, awesome person, awesome individual," Cartwright said of Davis. "Someone whose door was always open. We're definitely going to miss him, but he's in a better place now."Quarterback Jason Campbell was compared to two-time Super Bowl champion Jim Plunkett by Davis when he first arrived in Oakland after a 2010 Draft Weekend trade with Washington."He's the one guy who would always call you to check on you to see how you're doing, how your family's doing," Campbell said. "We're definitely going to miss him. He's done a lot for the NFL."We're going to try to rally as a team."Lechler agreed."Not to say that we would play any different for him," Lechler said, "but this one's going to mean a little bit more to the organization, to the team, and (we're) looking forward to the challenge."Said Jackson: "I just know Coach would want us to go out and play like Raiders. What a tremendous person, a tremendous man, and I owe him so much. This league owes him so much. He's a legend, he's an icon and we will honor him by playing the way the Raiders should play."

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 might 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 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 him.

“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.”