Raiders

Raiders QB Derek Carr responds to viral rumor

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AP

Raiders QB Derek Carr responds to viral rumor

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was the subject of some unflattering rumors on Tuesday morning. Teammates swiftly came to his defense on social media, shutting down an inflammatory, incorrect story spread by a controversial Internet radio show host married to an NFL player.

On Wednesday, the topic fell at Carr’s feet.

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Some background:

The host, repeating a story told by a Raiders fan on her podcast, said Carr demanded his teammates stand during the national anthem prior to a Sept. 24 game in Washington, the Sunday night contest following anti-NFL-player statements made by President Trump. The host then claimed that there was a pregame argument in the Raiders locker room over that issue, and, here's the kicker, that the Raiders offensive line intentionally allowed Derek Carr to get hit and eventually hurt.

Since we here at NBC Sports Bay Area aren’t in the business of spreading rumors, here’s a quick synopsis of what happened, according to team sources on and off the record. It was also written in large part here. The Raiders planned to stay in the locker room for the anthem -- there was a spirited discussion, with opinions from several levels of the organization, the night before -- as many other teams did in response to Trump’s comments on NFL anthem protests.

Logistics of Sunday Night Football’s unique pregame schedule took that option away. The Raiders tried to work out a different plan on the fly, and there was some disagreement on how to handle the new situation as a unit. That wasn’t resolved during the limited discussion time before an important game. That’s why you saw groups protesting in different ways. The offensive line and most Raiders defenders sat with arms locked. Others chose to kneel. Carr was among several who stood. The team’s unquestioned leader and franchise quarterback prayed during the anthem near other teammates who sat and stood. At no point did Carr tell anyone what to do.

Then the Raiders got outplayed, outschemed and outcoached by an energetic, determined Washington football club. That was it. They lost a football game they wanted to win. End of story.

Carr suffered transverse process fractures in his back the following week at Denver on a freak play where he was awkwardly wrenched to the ground and kneed in the back by a Broncos defensive lineman. Every Raiders offensive linemen immediately huddled around him, and left  tackle Donald Penn looked concerned as he walked with Carr toward the sideline. 

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Back to present day:

This false theory was originally discussed by a non-sports radio show in Sacramento shortly after the Washington game saying the line allowed him to get hit, but it didn’t become a mainstream topic until players reacted to Tuesday’s rehashing by the aforementioned Internet radio host.

This rumor gone viral came up during Carr’s Wednesday bye-week press conference.

A reporter asked if a Bible verse he posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon – "Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything." Proverbs 13:3, NLT -- was a response to the rumor.

“I know you have to ask. That has nothing to do with what was said,” Carr said told the inquiring reporter. “I don’t give false claims any due. If you see anything (on my Twitter timeline), you see I post a lot of scriptures. You can ask anyone about the YouVersion Bible app; that was the scripture of the day and I just posted it.”

Fans immediately thought the post and story were connected.

“Everyone started saying ‘shade,’ this and all that. I’m bigger than that,” Carr said. “I don’t pay any mind to that kind of stuff because it detours. Making false claims about somebody before you know them, and about a group of guys, that has no business in our world. We’re trying to promote peace and love. I don’t think that has any place.”

Several players immediately shot down the story on Tuesday, including Penn.

https://twitter.com/DPENN70/status/927914188197937158

Does Gruden see Lynch, Crabtree on Raiders in 2018?

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USATSI

Does Gruden see Lynch, Crabtree on Raiders in 2018?

Jon Gruden doesn’t love offseason restrictions on player-coach interaction. They weren’t so strict when Gruden last coached nine years ago, but the new collective bargaining agreement prevents the new Raiders head coach from extended contact with his players at this stage in the NFL’s downtime.

He has, however, run into several Raiders stopping by the team’s Alameda complex.

Count running back Marshawn Lynch and receiver Michael Crabtree among them. Conversations with those talented, yet mercurial players will be key as Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie decide how best to use the salary cap.

Both guys have a long history of NFL production. Both guys are getting up there in age, and have some drawbacks. Both guys can be cut without a salary cap hit.

Gruden had nice things to say about both guys in a Wednesday interview with the Bay Area News Group.

He was asked directly if Lynch will be on the 2018 roster.

“I don’t know,” Gruden said. “I bumped into him. Some of these players that live locally do come to the facility to get a workout, see the trainer. I’ve been downstairs and met several guys. I have talked to Marshawn briefly. We’ll see. We’ll keep everybody posted. Right now, he’s our leading ball carrier. He’s our back, and we’re counting on him. Hopefully we get an opportunity to work together. That’s a man that has a lot of respect in this league as a player and I certainly have respect for him also.”

Lynch started slow but finished strong, and was the team’s best skill player in the season’s second half. He’s contracted to make up to $6 million in 2018.

Crabtree came up later in a discussion of what he likes on the roster.

“I got to bump into Crabtree,” Gruden said. “Hopefully we can get the best out of Crabtree and his career.”

Crabtree is coming off a down year following two stellar seasons in Oakland. He had just 58 catches for 618 yards – he still had eight touchdowns – but his targets and snaps decreased the last two weeks. He seemed at odds with the previous coaching staff, a group that was dismissed at season’s end.

Crabtree is set to make $7 million next season, though none of it is guaranteed.

Gruden meeting reinforces T.J. Carrie's desire to remain with Raiders

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USATSI

Gruden meeting reinforces T.J. Carrie's desire to remain with Raiders

PALO ALTO – Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie became a father on Super Bowl Sunday. Newborn son Elijah Carrie has been the sole focus these last few weeks, as T.J. learns on the job how to be a dad.

Pardon him if he hasn’t thought much about impending free agency. The 2014 seventh-round pick turned full-time starter has a rookie deal expiring soon, with a raise on the horizon following his best season as a pro.

That’ll come in March. Early February, however, has kept him otherwise engaged.

“I’ve been so busy with my little one, and I haven’t been getting any sleep,” Carrie said Thursday. “Learning how to be a dad has been so engulfing that I haven’t delved into the details of what free agency will mean to me.”

Soul searching wasn’t required to realize his dream scenario. The East Bay native wants to stay in Oakland, with a Raiders team he loved as a kid.

“My intention is to be here,” Carrie said. “I’m a Bay Area guy, a hometown kid. I couldn’t see myself being anywhere else. This is a passion for me. I dreamed about playing for the Raiders for such a long time. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to play there for four years, I want to finish (with the Raiders).”

Carrie wants to work with a new Raiders regime. He visited the team’s Alameda complex on Wednesday and met with new head coach Jon Gruden and defensive assistants. The interaction left Carrie wanting more, furthering his belief that be belongs in Silver and Black.

“Coach Gruden is very energetic,” Carrie said. “He’s a coach that likes to have fun but it a very business oriented guy. There are a lot of things, I imagine, that are going to change, just from the way he has done things. It’s going to be different, but I embrace it. It’ll be very challenging entering into a new regime, but there are a lot of positive factors involved with it.”

The Raiders don’t have many cornerbacks under contract come mid-March. They released David Amerson, and could do the same with Sean Smith later this offseason. Gareon Conley should start at one spot, but everything else is wide-open entering free agency and the draft.

Carrie could find value on the open market after recording 70 tackles and nine passes defensed in 16 starts. He’ll explore his options further next month, before free agency begins in earnest March 14.

“I know March is really when it starts to go down,” Carrie said. “My son will be a little older then, so I can focus more on free agency and make some more decisions.”