NFL Notes: Raiders' Derek Carr sets deadline for contract negotiations

NFL Notes: Raiders' Derek Carr sets deadline for contract negotiations

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr is confident he will have a new contract extension before the Raiders report for training camp at the end of July.

If for some reason that doesn't happen, Carr said he would play out the final year of his rookie deal in 2017 rather than negotiate a new contract once camp has started and his focus is entirely on the upcoming season.

"I wouldn't even answer my phone," Carr said Tuesday. "The money isn't the thing that drives me. If it was, then I shouldn't be standing here. What drives me is making sure I'm giving everything I have with my abilities and making sure that we win. I don't want anything distracting my thought process at all. It's not a jab or anything like that. That's just me saying, `I'm not going to deal with anything that's not helping me just focus on winning.'"

Carr is in the final season of his bargain rookie deal that is slated to pay him just under $1 million in his fourth season. Because he was drafted in the second round, not the first, in 2014, the Raiders are unable to use a fifth-year option to retain Carr like they did earlier this offseason with star pass rusher Khalil Mack.

So Oakland must give Carr a long-term deal that would likely make him one of the top-paid players in the game after a successful three-year start to his career or be forced to use the franchise tag in 2018 to retain him.

Carr said there have been no substantive talks as of yet but he expects things to heat up soon between the Raiders and his agent, Tim Younger.

"Hopefully it will get done," he said. "Both sides keep saying it's going to get done. I'm not worried about it to let you know about it. Once camp hits, I don't want to be a distraction. I've made it very clear that I want to be a Raider my entire career. I don't want to play for anybody else. They know that. They've told me how bad they want me. We'll see."

Carr said it bothered him to watch Mack have to answer questions about Carr's contract recently in a television interview and he wants to avoid putting his teammates in that situation in the future.

Panthers: Stewart focused on championships, not carries
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers veteran running back Jonathan Stewart isn't concerned about losing carries to Christian McCaffrey, the team's first round draft pick.

In Stewart's eyes, the more talent on the Carolina roster the better.

"Who cares? We want to win Super Bowls, right?" Stewart said following OTAs on Tuesday. "That's the bottom line on why we drafted him. It's not about people getting carries, or people getting touches, or getting touchdowns. It's about what you what can contribute" to the team.

Stewart has always approached things with a team-first mentality, having spent the majority of his nine-year career splitting reps with DeAngelo Williams.

The Panthers still envision Stewart having a huge role in the offense after a solid season in which he ran for 824 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games. That's why they signed him to a one-year $8 million extension that will keep him under contract through the 2018 season.

The 5-foot-10, 240-pound Stewart is an entirely differently runner than the smaller McCaffrey.

Stewart is a power back who excels at breaking tackles, while McCaffrey is expected to bring more speed, quickness and versatility to the backfield as a pass receiver.

"It doesn't change Jonathan's role," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of the addition of McCaffrey. "We're going to do what we do. (McCaffrey) is a young man who can come in an supplant some of those reps. He's a dynamic player that can do some things Jonathan doesn't do."

Browns: Kirksey signs 4-year, $38 million extension
CLEVELAND -- When the Browns were sliding toward a winless 2016 season, Christian Kirksey stepped forward.

The linebacker boldly predicted a victory, which came a few weeks later.

On Tuesday, Cleveland locked up Kirksey for what the club hopes will be better seasons ahead.

Kirksey signed a four-year, $38 million extension with the Browns, who will have their leading tackler under contract through the 2021 season. The deal includes $20 million guaranteed.

"Christian Kirksey brings a lot to this football team," said Sashi Brown, the club's executive vice president of football operations. "He's another example of a young talented football player that we want to be part of our organization for the long term. Chris reflects the hard work and commitment we want in our locker room. He has done everything asked of him since he was drafted and has developed into an impact starter. We look forward to watching him continue to emerge as a leader of our team and establish a culture of winning here in Cleveland."

The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder was one of the few positives last season when the Browns went 1-15. He led the team in tackles and finished third in the league with 148.

Kirksey, who made at least nine tackles in 10 games and played all but two defensive snaps last season, would have been eligible to be an unrestricted free agent in March (see full story).

Jets: Forte sees ‘a lot of versatility’ in offense
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Matt Forte is eager to be a bigger part of the New York Jets' offense.

That means running the ball, of course, but also catching more passes out of the backfield -- something he thinks new coordinator John Morton will allow him to do.

"A guy who catches the ball," Forte said Tuesday after practice, "should be involved in the offense on the receiving side of it."

There were times last season that Forte wondered what his role was under former coordinator Chan Gailey. He ran for a career-low 813 yards in his first year with the Jets, but also had just 30 receptions.

While Forte played through a torn meniscus in his right knee that eventually ended his season after 14 games, the dip in his production was also due in large part to Gailey's deployment of personnel.

Forte was mostly used on first and second downs, and then often replaced by Bilal Powell on third downs -- which is typically a passing situation. Forte told NJ Advance Media that the decision by Gailey, who retired after the season, to not use him more on third downs was "odd."

"Last year, I don't think I played really on third downs, which is, like I said, `odd,'" he said. "I went from catching like 100 balls to like 60 and last year, I caught like 30."

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Warrant issued for Michael Bennett's arrest

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett has been indicted for a felony charge in Harris County, Texas, the Harris County district attorney's office announced on Friday afternoon.

Because of the indictment, a warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest. According to the release, prosecutors are working with Bennett's lawyers to coordinate a surrender.

Bennett is being charged with "injury to the elderly, included intentionally and knowingly, causing bodily injury to a person 65 years or older." The penalty for the charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The felony charge is for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman who was working at NRG Stadium last year during Super Bowl LI, when Bennett was there to watch his brother Martellus play in the game. The Patriots played the Falcons in Super Bowl LI in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.  

Bennett, 32, allegedly "shoved his way on to the field" during the postgame celebration, when the elderly worker told him to use a different way for field access. Instead, the district attorney's office said, Bennett pushed through workers, including the elderly disabled woman.

Neither the Eagles nor the Seahawks knew about the incident, a league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn. Bennett has been an Eagle officially for just over a week.

During a news conference on Friday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked Bennett to turn himself in as quickly as possible, calling Bennett "morally bankrupt" and entitled. Acevedo said there is no video of the incident, but there is a police officer eye-witness.

Acevedo said Bennett forcibly opened locked doors to get onto the field and then pushed his way past three workers. One was a male, one was a 28-year-old female and one was a 66-year-old female, who sustained a sprained shoulder. The 66-year-old female is a paraplegic and the force of being pushed back in her motorized wheelchair is what injured her. Acevedo said the woman needed medication prescribed to her because of the alleged assault.

According to Acevedo, Bennett said, "Ya'll must know who I am, and I could own this motherf-----. I'm going on the field whether you like it or not," as he pushed past the women.

A police officer, called "Officer Morgan" by Acevedo, the same one who saw the alleged incident, then tried to stop Bennett, but Bennett disregarded him, saying "f--- you." The officer then decided to tend to the woman instead of pursuing the suspect, as he thought Bennett no longer posed a threat.

The extended time between the incident and the indictment was explained by Acevedo as a lack of resources. He said the department decided to handle cases that put citizens in danger. This was pushed to the back burner. He also said it was exceedingly difficult to get in touch with Bennett.

"Mr. Bennett may think because he's an NFL player and because some time passed he may have thought rules don't apply to him," Acevedo said. "No. 2 he doesn't have to respect the dignity of a paraplegic woman trying to earn a living. He may believe he doesn't have to answer to a police officer trying to detain him, but I'm here to say I'm very proud of the fact our department took this case as seriously as we should have."

The Eagles released the following statement on Friday afternoon:

"We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time."

The Eagles officially traded for Bennett on March 14. They sent receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick to Seattle for Bennett and a seventh-rounder.

10 random Mike Wallace stats

10 random Mike Wallace stats

In Mike Wallace, the Eagles are getting a veteran wide receiver who’s now playing for his fifth team in the last seven years.
Wallace has put up fairly consistent numbers since the Steelers drafted him out of Mississippi in the third round in 2009.
And we all know what a veteran wide receiver means. Lots of stats!
So let’s get to know Mike Wallace with 10 Random Mike Wallace Stats That You Didn’t Know (And I Didn’t Either Until I Looked them Up!):
• Since entering the NFL in 2009, Wallace ranks ninth in the NFL with 8,072 receiving yards, behind only former teammate Antonio Brown (9,910), Larry Fitzgerald (9,570), Calvin Johnson (9,532), Brandon Marshall (9,316), Julio Jones (9,054), Demaryius Thomas (8,653), DeSean Jackson (8,575) and A.J. Green (8,213).
• Wallace’s 57 touchdown catches since 2009 are seventh-most in the NFL during that span by a wide receiver.

• With a 95-yard touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger against the Cardinals in 2011 and a 95-yarder from Joe Flacco against the Steelers in 2016, Wallace is one of just three players in NFL history with two career TD receptions of 95 or more yards.

The others are Gaynell Tinsley of the Chicago Cardinals, who caught a 97-yarder from Pat Coffee in 1937 and a 98-yarder from Doug Russell in 1938, and Pennsauken’s John Taylor, who caught a 95-yarder from Joe Montana in 1989 and a 97-yarder from Steve Young in 1991.
• Similarly, Wallace’s four career TDs of 80 yards or more — the two listed above plus catches of 81 and 82 from Roethlisberger in 2011 and 2012 — are fifth-most in NFL history behind Derrick Alexander, Lance Alworth, Bobby Hayes and Jerry Rice, who all have five.
• Wallace has had at least 725 receiving yards in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL. Since 2009, only Fitzgerald has had 725 or more yards more often than Wallace.
• Wallace’s career rushing average of 7.1 yards per carry is fifth-highest among active players (with 32 or more attempts), behind Cordarrelle Patterson (10.3), Tyreek Hill (8.0), Deshaun Watson (7.5) and Ted Ginn (7.1).
• Wallace had nine catches for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV against the Packers after the 2010 season. That’s tied with several players (including Nelson Agholor) for eighth-most in Super Bowl history by a wide receiver.
• Since he entered the league in 2009, Wallace has 43 receptions of 40 yards or more, second-most in the NFL during that span behind only former Eagle DeSean Jackson, who has 56. Those 43 passes were thrown by five quarterbacks (Roethlisberger 23, Flacco 9, Ryan Tannehill 7, Charlie Batch 3 and former Eagle Dennis Dixon 1).
• During the same span, Wallace has 19 TD catches of 40 yards or more, again second-most in the league during that span to Jackson’s 26.
• In 2010, Wallace caught 60 passes for 1,257 yards, and his 20.95 average was sixth-highest in NFL history and highest in the last 33 years by a player with 60 or more receptions. Since 1965, only Hall of Famer and one-time Eagle James Lofton has had a higher average (21.95 in 1984).