Titans sign Carr to offer sheet


The Tennessean is reporting that restricted free agent defensive back/return specialist Chris Carr has signed an offer sheet with the Tennessee Titans.

The Raiders have a week to decide whether to match the offer and retain Carr. Should they decline to match, Carr, who joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent, would bring no compensation.

During a free agent visit to Buffalo, Carr expressed a desire for a fresh start. Given the recent additions of DeAngelo Hall and Gibril Wilson into the secondary, the Raiders could grant his wish and find another return specialist.

Carr is Oakland’s all-time leader in kickoff returns (201) and yards (4,841), although he never scored a touchdown on special teams. In 2006, Carr had the Raiders’ biggest defensive play of the season, a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown off Ben Roethlisberger that helped put away an upset win against the Steelers.


West’s best offseason


You want good news?

The Raiders have had the best offseason of any team in the AFC West.

RAIDERS POLL: Rate the DeAngelo Hall trade

There. That wasn’t so hard.

Of course, the Raiders are the only team that has done anything of note in the division, so bringing in DeAngelo Hall, Javon Walker, Gibril Wilson and even Kwame Harris and Drew Carter makes it a veritable landslide no matter what you think of how much they paid.

The losses _ wide receiver Jerry Porter, defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive lineman Tyler Brayton and quarteback Josh McCown _ were more than offset by the gains. They also managed to bring back Justin Fargas, Dominic Rhodes and Tommy Kelly, and the first two came at extremely reasonable prices.

Division play happened to be one of Oakland’s best areas of progress last season. Until faced with the murderer’s row final four of Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and San Diego, Oakland’s back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Broncos were one of the most positive developments of the past few seasons.

The Broncos have signed LB Boss Bailey, WR Keary Colbert, LB Niko Koutovides, S Marquand Manuel, S Marlon McCree, RB Cecil Sapp and C Casey Wiegmann.

Wiegmann has been a solid center for a long time _ possibly too long. Bailey never seemed to realize his ability in Detroit. Colbert is a No. 2 receiver at best.

The Broncos wanted no part of Walker, deciding the $5.4 bonus was too much for an unhappy player with a history of knee trouble. That risk was assumed by the Raiders at a much higher price. Denver might have second thoughts if Walker regains his form, because Brandon Marshall, the talented receiver who replaced him, has a serious right arm injury sustained in a mysterious accident.

Losing kicker Jason Elam will cost them a game. Based on recent history, it could come against Oakland.

San Diego remains the top team in the division, but they’re only significant addition is linebacker Derrick Smith, a solid if slow linebacker the 49ers didn’t want who could fit nicely as an inside linebacker. Gone is Michael Turner, a valuable No. 2 running back behind LaDainian Tomlinson.

More important to Tomlinson, fullback Lorenzo Neal was released. Count on Tomlinson to lobby hard to bring back his body guard.

As for the Chiefs, who look to be the worst team in the division by a considerable margin, they re-signed punter Dustin Colquitt, and have done little else.

Searching for QBs

Not surprising Quinn Gray signed with someone other than the Raiders. He has aspirations of being a No. 1 quarterback and JaMarcus Russell’s future begins in earnest this season. He’s got a better chance of beating out Sage Rosenfels and Matt Schaub.

But it leaves the Raiders in search of another quarterback to go with Russell and Andrew Walter. According to the Fresno Bee, Trent Dilfer has been contacted.

If that’s the case, he may be better suited as No. 3 and a mentor, because frankly, I’d take my chances with Walter if Russell went down.

Bad day across the bay

I was pretty dismissive of tampering charges in general a few weeks back after getting an up close look at it going right out in the open at the NFL scouting combine.

It’s bad enough that the 49ers got caught tampering. It’s even worse that they got caught tampering with a player they didn’t even get. Lance Briggs is still with the Chicago Bears.

Profootballtalk.com believes it’s the first enforced tampering charge since the Miami Dolphins lost a first-round pick when it hired Don Shula away from the Baltimore Colts 38 years ago.


Drew Carter on board


Free agent Drew Carter, an occasional starter for the Carolina Panthers last season, has been added to the Raiders’ receiving corps, beat writer Steve Corkran confirmed.

Barring any other acquisitions, Carter would enter training camp as no worse than the third wide receiver, joining Javon Walker and incumbent Ronald Curry.

In seven starts for Carolina, Carter had 38 receptions for 517 yards and four touchdowns, which followed a 28-catch, 357-yard performance in 2006.

The Raiders have added both Walker and Carter to one of the NFL’s thinnest units since losing Jerry Porter (Jacksonville) to free agency.

With Walker (6-3, 215), Curry (6-2, 210) and Carter (6-3, 210), Oakland has given rookie quarterback JaMarcus Russell a trio of phyiscally impressive wide receivers. Best case, it means the potential for a lot of big plays. Depth could still be an issue, since all three have had injury issues.

The remainder of the wide receivers includes Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jonathan Holland, Chris McFoy, Drisan James, Will Buchanon and Todd Watkins.

No word yet regarding Quinn Gray, the Jacksonville quarterback who arrived Tuesday night. The St. Petersburg Times reported defensive end Kevin Carter, a 34-year-old, 13-year vet who has talked with the Raiders in past free agent years, was to visit Wednesday.

Gray has already visited Green Bay. If the Packers are serious, that opportunity would seem to be the better chance for Gray to get playing time. Russell will likely be given the chance to grow through his errors. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers, the man who must replace Brett Favre, would be on a considerably shorter leash and be under much more intense scrutiny on a team with playoff aspirations.


Hammerhead pays a visit


Linebacker Danny Clark, a fan favorite who was displaced as the middle linebacker when Kirk Morrison moved inside for the 2005 season, visited the Raiders facility Thursday.

No word on the level of interest on either side.

Clark was a fairly stout run defender who had problems in pass coverage. Morrison is one of the NFL’s best pass defenders at his position but struggled last season getting off blocks against the run.

Clark played for New Orleans in 2006 and Houston in 2007.

Carr visits Titans
Defensive back/return specialist Chris Carr met with Tennessee, but as a restricted free agent, the Raiders have the right to match any offer.

As an undrafted free agent, Carr brings no draft compensation if the Raiders decline to match. Same with linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba. Defensive tackle Josh Shaw, if signed by someone else, would net a fifth-round draft pick.

Carlisle under contract

Not sure where the story got started that Cooper Carlisle is on the open market.

Carlisle signed a two-year contract and there was no void involved. He remains the Raiders right guard.