Raiders

Source: Penn, Raiders agree on two-year contract extension

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AP

Source: Penn, Raiders agree on two-year contract extension

Raiders left tackle Donald Penn missed 26 preseason days holding out for a new contract. He reported to the Raiders without one.

Ultimately, however, the protest worked because Penn agreed to terms on a two-year, $21 million contract extension, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California.

The deal provides guaranteed money next season.

And, more important for both sides, it never got ugly. The strong bond between Pro Bowler and front office remains intact, with both sides eventually happy with the outcome.

Penn got more money. The Raiders can retain a top-tier left tackle a little while longer.

NFL Network first reported the news on Friday morning.

Exact terms of the deal aren’t immediately known, but if Penn plays well this season, he’ll reportedly get guaranteed money in 2019.

That would push into his 14th season and age 36, though he plays a position with a longer shelf life.

Having Penn around also locks up the Raiders offensive line for a long time. Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson are contracted through the 2019 season.

It wasn’t certain Penn would be around this long. He seemed content to ride out his pre-extension contract and then spend more time with his family. Then the Raiders started winning and his performance reached new heights, inspiring Penn to continue this unlikely NFL run.

Once an undrafted rookie from Utah State, Penn played eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He got cut after a regrettable 2013 season where he allowed 12 sacks, but quickly joined the Raiders. General manager Reggie McKenzie swooped him up and Penn experienced a career renaissance as the only NFL blindside protector Derek Carr has ever had.

He re-signed with the club in the 2016 offseason, allowed but one sack – produced by an ill-times slip, and Carr consequently got hurt – and made his first Pro Bowl.

That led to the final year off a deal that didn’t match his worth, so Penn sat out training camp in protest, and ultimately returned for his teammates and on faith the Raiders would come through. They promised to do so, and stuck to their word.

A source said talks ramped up this week and a deal got done that ends a prolonged contract issue that produced few ill effects. Penn was able to return in time to play Sunday’s regular-season opener. The Raiders wanted that. A new deal came shortly after. Penn wanted that. Both sides end up happy with more guaranteed money and security across the offensive line.

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.”