Del Rio: Raiders remain on a mission, must rally around McGloin

Del Rio: Raiders remain on a mission, must rally around McGloin

The Raiders will get back to work Tuesday, and prep for the regular-season finale at Denver.

Quarterback Derek Carr won’t be there. He’s in Los Angeles to surgically repair a right fibula broken during Saturday’s victory over Indianapolis.

It’s extremely likely Carr won’t be available to play again this season. The Raiders will turn to backup Matt McGloin, hoping he can carry this team through the playoffs.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wants to focus on the future, a theme clear during his Monday press conference. He didn’t offer details on Carr. He honed his comments on McGloin now leading the way.

The Raiders don’t have forever to mourn Carr’s loss. They must carry on without their MVP candidate. It won’t be easy, but it must be done.

“It’s a tough game,” Del Rio said “Things happen in this game. It’s all about the team. It’s all about us moving on with the next opportunity and pulling together as a group of men and being unselfish and sacrificing for each other. All of those things. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t change regardless of who it is. It’s about the team. It’s about us winning. That’s not in any way meant to be insensitive. You always show love and appreciation for anybody who was banged up or has an unfortunate event happen, but the team does carry on. That’s what we do.”

The Raiders ultimate goals haven’t changed. They want to win the AFC West with a victory over Denver on Sunday. That would secure home-field advantage in the divisional round and at least and a first-round bye. It would also put the Raiders in better position to win the conference and the league. While it certainly seems harder with Carr on the shelf, the Raiders are pushing forward just the same.

“We remain on a mission and we’re looking forward to this week and the last chapter for the regular season,” Del Rio said. “We’re excited to kind of put last week behind us and move ahead as a team and get ourselves prepared.”

There will be plenty of discussion about McGloin this week -- his strengths and weaknesses. As a primer, McGloin is supremely confident, with a willingness to fit passes into tight windows. He doesn’t have Carr’s size or arm strength, but can move the ball downfield.

“He’s a really competitive guy. He really attacks his preparation,” Del Rio said. “He’s a little bit fearless. I think he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, I’d say.”

It’s pretty big actually. Athletes find motivation in strange places, but McGloin hasn’t looked hard for his. He hasn’t been given a chance at several stops, as a walk-on turned starter at Penn State. He wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, didn’t get drafted and only latched on to the Raiders as a fourth quarterback. He beat out 2013 fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson and started six games as a rookie.

Del Rio says McGloin prepares well and is capable of stepping right in.

“He’s handled himself very well,” Del Rio said. “Been prepared to go all year in the case that anything were to occur. He’s ready to step in and take advantage of his opportunity.”

McGloin has an opportunity because of Carr’s injury, which came late fourth quarter with the Raiders up 19 points with roughly 11 minutes left. Some have questioned why Carr was still in the game up a large margin or why the Raiders were passing regardless of down and distance.

“I think when you end up looking at the final score, we won by eight points,” Del Rio said. “We won by one score basically. Andrew Luck, people here in the Bay Area, I think, have a pretty good understanding of what he is capable of. I know I do. We felt like you had to keep the pedal down on that opponent, that quarterback in that game. You’re talking about a team facing elimination. We knew we were going to get everything they had to close the game anyway they could, and we were prepared for that.”

Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders

Ndamukong Suh won’t meet with the Raiders, after all. The star defensive tackle cut Alameda out of his free-agent tour, according to NFL Network, choosing instead to head home after stops in New Orleans, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams.

NFLN reports that Suh had dinner with Rams coach Sean McVay on Tuesday night, and was due in Oakland the following day. The Rams made a solid impression

Suh is reportedly mulling options from all three aforementioned playoff teams, all of which have more working salary-cap space and other stalwarts along the defensive line.

That’s surely a disappointment for the Raiders, who have had interest in Suh dating back to his last free-agent experience in 2015. The Silver and Black couldn’t afford him then. It seems unlikely they can afford him now, with precious little salary-cap space remaining after being active in free agency’s second wave.

The Raiders also hope to lock Khalil Mack up long-term with a massive extension this offseason.

It’s uncertain at this stage whether player or team cancelled the meeting, or exactly why it was called off. The Raiders could still sign a veteran defensive tackle, and/or acquire one early in the NFL Draft.

Raiders restructure Marshawn Lynch's contract


Raiders restructure Marshawn Lynch's contract

Marshawn Lynch restructured his contract this week, virtually locking him in for the 2018 Raiders season.

The veteran exchanged some base salary for guaranteed funds and an increased incentive package, according to contract details obtained Wednesday by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

His base salary drops from $4 million to $2.5 million, but becomes guaranteed. None of the funds Lynch had coming in his previous deal were guaranteed. He has a $1 million roster bonus coming on Saturday, just six days after receiving a $1 million roster bonus as required in his old contract.

That essentially guarantees him $4.5 million, as sure a sign as any he’ll be the Raiders feature back. Lynch will lead his position group, with support from veteran addition Doug Martin. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are also on the roster, though it’s uncertain if both guys will remain there this fall.

Lynch can also earn $3.75 million in incentives, a significant increase from the $2 million available in the previous deal.

The Raiders saved $500,000 in salary cap space with the new deal.