Raiders inspired by Warriors title run: 'Makes you dream those dreams'

Raiders inspired by Warriors title run: 'Makes you dream those dreams'

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr is from Bakersfield. That’s Lakers country. It certainly was with Kobe Bryant in his prime.

The Raiders quarterback will always stick with that team, but he got caught up in the Warriors NBA championship run. He lives in the East Bay now, and was pulling for his current home team to win a title. That happened Monday night, when the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA finals.

“I’ve been a Lakers fan and will be forever. Kobe’s my favorite athlete ever, but I root for the hometown team,” Carr said after Tuesday’s minicamp practice. “So to see them do that and see what it does for our city, it’s great that our city can experience something like that. All the Warriors fans, most of them anyway, are Raiders fans if they don’t travel back across the Bay and root for that other team. Whenever you have something going on the Bay Area, there’s no better place to win. It’s really cool.”

It also makes Carr think about bringing another title to the Bay Area.

“It makes you hungry every time you see another team celebrate a championship,” Carr said. “It makes you dream those dreams you had as a kid, of standing on the stage, holding trophies up. It was fun to watch and I’m happy for those guys. Hopefully they win a whole lot more.”

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is from Hayward. He’s a longtime Warriors fan who has been visible at several key games this season, including the clincher at Oracle Arena.

“It was awesome to be over at the game last night and see the Warriors win a world championship and do it with that crowd,” Del Rio said. “It was a spectacular crowd full of happy people. It was great to be a part of that.”

The Raiders haven’t played a home playoff game next door at Oalkand Coliseum since 2002, though ending that streak is a realistic prospect in the 2017 season. Del Rio would like to help the Raiders go on a playoff run this season that includes a few home dates.

“Playing at home is something you have to earn,” Del Rio said. “Our fans here are the best, That atmosphere last night was great to be a part of. Regular season games are fun, but it always ramps up in the playoffs. We’d love to earn those opportunities in the future.”

Said running back DeAndre Washington: "You see that and understand that Bay Area fans are the real deal. When the Raiders win, it’s a different type of excitement. Congrats to the Warriors, and it definitely inspired us to bring one to the city."

Raiders' Jon Gruden, Reggie McKenzie send mixed messages about future trades

Raiders' Jon Gruden, Reggie McKenzie send mixed messages about future trades

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have traded two former first-round draft picks in less than eight weeks.

Edge rusher Khalil Mack was shipped to Chicago on Sept. 1 for a package that included two first-round picks. Then wide receiver Amari Cooper was traded to Dallas on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick from the Cowboys.

Two players who were expected to be Raiders for a long, long time now are employed by other teams.

General manager Reggie McKenzie had plans to pay them both, to maintain a foundation that included guard Gabe Jackson and quarterback Derek Carr. Now both Mack and Cooper are gone.

Who’s next? Depends who you ask.

McKenzie was asked Monday if anyone on the Raiders' roster was untouchable. He said no.

“I’m not going to say anyone’s untouchable,” McKenzie told reporters. “Now, in my heart of hearts, would I hate to lose some players more than others? Absolutely. I know the difficulty in replacing [certain guys], at certain positions I feel stronger about than others.

“As far as communication with me and any team, those lines will be open for anyone, on any one of our players. Whether I’m going to like it or not, it’s hard to say that anybody’s untradeable.”

Then coach Jon Gruden spoke to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and said no one’s available, that the Raiders are out of the trade market.

“We’re not trading anyone else,” Gruden said. “We’re trying to stay competitive and figure out a way to compete this next game (Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts).”

Go on. Scratch your head over the disconnect. Ponder how the sky can be called green and then blue by power brokers from the same front office.

Then, shake it out and understand it remains uncertain what the Raiders will do before the Oct. 30 trade deadline.

Reports have 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph also on the block. Any veterans on short-term deals with no prospects to be part of the long-term Raiders rebuild could be moved for the right price.

It’s unlikely Carr or cornerback Gareon Conley will be moved during the season, but never say never with this bunch.

The Raiders have taken three first-round picks from the Mack and Cooper trades, and have five over the next two seasons, including their own. It’s possible that collecting more selections this month or this next offseason could happen, despite what Gruden told ESPN. They do have a bounty of options to acquire young talent and remake this roster as Gruden sees fit.

“This is where you get a great opportunity to build,” McKenzie said. “You have pieces you can use to really build on what we have. With Gruden and the coaches that I’ve got here now, knowing where we’re heading schematically on both sides of the ball and special teams, we’re going to build this thing. We have the ammunition to build this thing really well here.”

Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, out at least eight weeks

Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, out at least eight weeks

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch was set to miss a month or more with a groin injury suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in London.

Now the Raiders running back is guaranteed to miss eight weeks, maybe the rest of the Raiders season.

The Silver and Black placed Lynch on injured reserve Monday afternoon.

They could designate him to return off IR in time to play the season’s final home game, a Christmas Eve tilt in primetime, against Pittsburgh Steelers.

Maybe. If he’s ready and physically able and wants to play one final game in front of his hometown. The Oakland native is in the final year of his contract. He has retired before, following the 2015 season, and didn’t come back because he missed the sport. Lynch wanted to play in Oakland while the city he loves still has an NFL team, to help bring attention to charitable efforts in the community.

He will never be a Las Vegas Raider, but it’s possible the enigmatic rusher returns in 2019 on a new deal. It's just as likely Lynch walks off into the sunset. 

There’s a small prospect he returns this season, not that the team is going anywhere after a disastrous 1-5 start. Lynch can practice with the team after six weeks and play after eight.

Doug Martin will assume Lynch’s role as feature back, with Jalen Richard being the primary third-down back. DeAndre Washington should also be active for the first time this season.

The Raiders can designate two players to return off IR. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis and offensive tackle Donald Penn are also candidates to come back after being on injured reserve.

Lynch was acquired in trade before the 2017 season, after which he came out of retirement and signed with the Silver and Black. He has 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns on 297 carries as an Oakland Raider. Lynch found dominant form this season, and was running with trademark violence even at age 32.