Carson Palmer was intrinsically linked to Hue Jackson, what with the former Raiders coach engineering the trade-deadline deal that brought the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback to Oakland from Cincinnati.But with Jackson now excised from the picture, where does that leave Palmer, who was acquired for a first-round draft pick this April and a conditional second-rounder in 2013?Palmer has not replied to messages.But new general manager Reggie McKenzie said in his Tuesday introductory media conference that Palmer will return -- he still has three years remaining on his reported 7.5-million guaranteed contract, with 5 million of the 12.5 million due him in 2012 guaranteed -- but added that the gig was not a given."Competition will be at every position," McKenzie said. "No one is going to have a job handed to them. You don't get better that way."We'll find good players to compete with the good players that we have, every day. So, Carson Palmer will not be immune to a good player behind him pushing him. That's how you get better."Jackson's departure, along with McKenzie's words, also potentially leaves open the door for Jason Campbell to return, seeing as how Jackson would not have wanted a potential distraction with a QB controversy. After all, Palmer was Jackson's guy after Campbell went down with a broken right collarbone on Oct. 16.And Campbell, who would no doubt have backing from the likes of receiversgroomsmen Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, has said all along that he considers himself a starter. Still, Campbell is a looming free agent and Palmer is under contract.Then there's Green Bay backup Matt Flynn, who threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns with an interception on 31 of 44 passing in the Packers' 45-41 defeat of Detroit in Week 17. Flynn will also be a free agent and McKenzie, the former Packers director of football operations, has already gone on record as saying he wants "his" guys in the house when talking about firing Jackson.Of course, this is all before McKenzie hires a head coach, though he was asked his thoughts on the mega-trade for the semi-retired Palmer, who came off his couch to start nine games for the Raiders.McKenzie smiled."No. 1, as a personnel guy, I love my picks," he said. "More, I love good players. Now, bringing in Carson at the time the Raiders brought him in, to me, as a player, that's a good move. You have to get players that can help you win games. Now, did the position of the situation present itself favorably for Cincinnati? Absolutely. But you do what you have to do. That's just the way it is, the cost of doing business."You're trying to help your team win. You can't put parameters from a standpoint of knowing the possibility was not as good, on the other hand. But as far as Carson Palmer is concerned, I think he's a good quarterback. Period."In extrapolating his stats from his nine starts over a full 16-game season and they come out to 4,688 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and 23 interceptions on a 62.6 percent completion rate. His 417 passing yards in the season finale against San Diego were the third-most in franchise history.Still, owner Mark Davis admitted he might have had second thoughts about the dealbut would do it all again."Yeah, I probably would," Davis said. "Again, I signed off on that deal. It wouldn't have happened without Hue Jackson because, first off, (Carson) wasn't on my mind."The injury to Jason happened, my father's funeral was the next day, then the trading deadline was at 1 o'clock the next day. So the timing and everythingHue got it going and everything and then came to me and said, 'I can do it, we can get this done.'"The Bengals had initially said they would never trade Palmer."The price was high," Davis added. "And Ken Herock came in and helped a little bit in the negotiations on that, and got the price (down), at least if we don't get to the (AFC) championship game it's down to a second-round draft pick. And if Ken would've had about three more hours, they probably would've been giving us draft choices and say, 'Take the guy.'"Davis laughed."But I definitely signed off on that and I still sign off," he said. "I like Carson Palmer, I really do. And I think with Darren McFadden and some of those receivers that were hurt -- his receivers were hurt a lot -- I think he's got a chance to be pretty good."Even in Oakland. Even in 2012. At least, for now.
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.
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.”