Raiders

Raiders sign guard Gabe Jackson to five-year contract extension

Raiders sign guard Gabe Jackson to five-year contract extension

Update (5:03 p.m., 6/30/17): The Raiders have officially announced the signing of guard Gabe Jackson to a five-year contract extension.

***

The Raiders extended quarterback Derek Carr’s contract a week ago Thursday. It was never meant to stand alone. Carr’s massive new deal was the first in a series of pacts designed to keep a talented, young core intact.

Right guard Gabe Jackson was next in line for a new deal. It didn’t take long to get one.

Jackson agreed to a contract extension on Thursday, that will add five years to his tenure, league sources confirmed with NBC Sports California. Jackson can earn $56 million over the life of the contract, according to the NFL Network, which puts him in rare air in his position group. The deal also includes $26 million in guarantees, per ESPN, the largest sum among right guards. 

The market for interior offensive linemen has exploded in recent years, launched upwards by the five-year, $58.5 million pact Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele agreed to during the 2016 offseason. Jackson moved from left to right for Osemele, and performed extremely well. The Mississippi State product didn't allow a sack in 2016, and gave up just 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. 

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has no problem spending big on offensive linemen. He paid Osemele a massive sum in 2016, and gave center Rodney Hudson $44.5 million the year before.

Jackson’s contract structure is not yet known, though Carr’s five-year, $125 million extension might’ve made it possible to properly entice Jackson. Carr split bonus money between two seasons, which gave the Raiders 2017 salary cap space required to go after Jackson right away. They had roughly $18 million remaining after the Carr pact, with just their top three 2017 draft picks left to sign. 

The 2014 third-round pick was entering a contract year, and the Raiders didn’t want him anywhere near unrestricted free agency.

Now Carr and Jackson are locked up, leaving one more member of a star-studded 2014 draft class left to extend. First-round edge rusher Khalil Mack will sign a massive contract extension, though there’s no rush to do so at this stage. The Raiders exercised the fifth-year option on 2014’s No. 5 overall pick, meaning his deal won’t expire until after the 2018 season.

That gives the Raiders time to rein in the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. An extension should come during the next offseason, when the Raiders have the financial flexibility required to pull off another blockbuster deal.

The team wanted to get Carr and Jackson done this summer. Carr said his extension talks were “easy.” Jackson’s were fast. The deal came together quickly, as both sides agreed on terms that will keep Jackson well paid for a long time.

The interior offensive line is locked up long term, which should provide stability protecting Derek Carr. Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn also enters a contract year, though it’s uncertain how much longer the 34-year old wants to play despite excellent production in recent seasons. The Raiders have an open competition at the right tackle spot.

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

nfl-generic.jpg

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

MEXICO CITY – The President of the United States Donald Trump has taken several shots at players who choose to sit during the national anthem.

Raiders running back was in his crosshairs early Monday morning.

Trump was bothered by Lynch’s actions before Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca.

Lynch sat for the United States’ national anthem, as he has in every game this season. Then he stood for Mexico’s anthem, though he spent most of that song getting his equipment adjusted.

The President took exception in a Twitter rant that has become a staple of his presidency.

It is believed that Lynch is sitting in protest of racial inequality, a movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though he has never declared that publicly. He refused to answer questions on that topic this summer.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from demanding he be suspended the rest of the season for his actions. The league won’t do that.

Trump won’t get his way, but with a quick Tweet he brought the issue to the Raiders’ doorstep in what will become a topic in Alameda all week.

Lynch was probably asleep when Trump’s tweet went public at 5:25 a.m. ET, and therefore hasn’t responded in any way.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

seth-us.jpg
USATSI

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders. With their inconsistency and mistake-prone play, they can lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going Beast Mode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.