Verdict in on Raiders' Allen


Verdict in on Raiders' Allen

ALAMEDA -- All eyes were on the Raiders' rookie head coach as the team embarked upon its offseason training programs, perhaps none more focused on Dennis Allen than those peepers belonging to the players themselves.So after a voluntary veterans minicamp, a draft, a rookie minicamp, three weeks of OTA and a mandatory minicamp, how did the 39-year-old Allen come off to the more grizzled of the group?"Theres not a lot of bullcrap that comes out of his mouth, which is important," first-year Raiders defensive end Dave Tollefson said upon the conclusion of last week's minicamp. "Theres enough guys on this team and in the NFL, in general, that can smell crap, if a guy is just saying stuff to fill time. He doesnt to that. As a young guy, coming in and being as sharp as he is, knowing what to do as a head coach is pretty impressive."RELATED: Raiders GM McKenzie says you can't build Rome overnight
Perhaps most impressive is that Tollefson has played the past five years for the New York Giants' no-nonsense taskmaster in Tom Coughlin and has a pair of Super Bowl rings to show for Coughlin's tight-fisted ways in Gotham."Listen, this is why we do this," Allen said. "The most important time and the most fun time is the time that we spend with the players, so yeah, but we've got some veteran players and I think they understand what's at stake and so I think they'll come back ready to roll come training camp."And Allen has let anyone within earshot know that his mantra is a more disciplined manner of football. Not exactly an easy task considering the Raiders set NFL records for penalties (163) and penalty yardage (1,358) last season."Coach Allen has done this, too, with penalties and turnovers these last couple days (of minicamp), is showing us slides with it," Tollefson said. "Thats something that Coughlin was huge on, showing us what hes talking about. If you turn the ball over and you get penalties, you will lose games and wont make it to the playoffs. Hes done a good job of that. To give it lip service, that really doesnt do it justice. Showing people the results of hanging on to the ball, getting the ball on defense and not shooting yourselves in the foot.RELATED: Raiders notes -- Offseason programs wrapped, team eyes Napa
"The number of penalties that this team had last year was unreal. And then to go 8-8 on top of that, thats kind of impressive. You get to see it for what it is. Theres no gimmes in this league. To keep setting yourself backward, its going to make it even tougher."The minicamp had 100 percent attendance of the 89 players on the Raiders roster and Allen was impressed with the turnout. The players, in turn, left impressed with Allen."Dennis has done a really good job of having a good mixture of both (fun and seriousness)," Tollefson said. "You've got to have accountability, but it is still a game. Hes done a great job with situations in practice. This is a situational sport at its heart, so you got to be ready for any situation. The accountability is there, which I want and which is important. You cant have guys doing whatever they want. Then again, you have to remember it for what it is; we do get paid to play a stupid game."

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.”