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Cartwright humbled, then back to business

Rock Cartwright insisted that in the business of the NFL, it wasn’t all that unusual to be receiving an award with a dinner in his honor by a franchise which may or may not want to retain his services for the coming year.

“Not really, man,” Cartwright said before the Commitment to Excellence dinner at the Oakland Airport Hilton. “I lay my heart out there every game I was out there. I really can’t worry about stuff I can’t control. That’s between those guys and my agent, and hopefully something can be worked out. I love it here. I would like to spend the rest of my career here. How long is that, who knows? But I’m going to let the front office and my agent handle that.”

A 10-year veteran, Cartwright has won the award each of the last two seasons. It is given to the player based on hard work, leadership and excellence on the field and is voted upon by the team.

The Raiders will continue the process of putting together a roster under general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen. Both attended the dinner for Cartwright (neither spoke to the two reporters on hand, myself and Paul Gutierrez of CSN-Bay Area). Cartwright got a chance to talk to both men Friday and Saturday but seemed to have no better idea whether he is in Oakland’s plans or not.

NFL teams learn the exact salary cap number (expected to be in the $120 million range) Monday then must be compliant on Tuesday before free agency begins.

“You can’t predict anything right now,” Cartwright said. “You never know what’s going to happen. I think Tuesday is going to be an interesting day for a lot of people. A lot of people’s lives are going to change, including myself, probably. (It) may not be Tuesday, it may be a week after the draft, but it may change, and you’ve got to prepare yourself for that.”

Other Cartwright observations:

His relationship with the other running backs

“Those guys are like my brothers. I’ve known them for two years now and it seems like I’ve known them forever.”

Darren McFadden’s health

“He’s able to do everything that he used to be able to do, run routes, things like that. I know Darren. He loves the game. He’s one of the most humble first-round draft picks since I’ve been in the league. He’s working to get back and we have to surround him with good people and a good group of guys so he can do the things he’s capable of doing.”

McFadden’s history of injury

“When you see a guy that puts so much into something and gets hurt on a check-down, and it costs you your season, you feel for the guy. It’s like every time he has something going it’s like there’s something that wants to set him back. But he keeps coming back out and producing. I think he’s going to get healthy, I think he’s going to stay healthy and I think once he does he’ll probably be the best back in the league.”

The viability of free agent Michael Bush as a ever-down back

“I think Bush is an every down back. He’s able to run the ball, he’s able to catch the ball, he’s able to pick up blitzes. He’s able to do everything. I think if given 20 to 25 carries a game, I think he’d definitely be one of the top rushers in the league.”

On former coach Hue Jackson

“I spoke with Hue a couple of times. We didn’t speak about what ahppened, we just spoke about the future and what he had going on and he just told me to stay in contact. I’m sure he’ll get an opportunity (to be a head coach) again some time down the road, because I think he’s a great leader and a great man, and I wish him the best.”

Editorial aside _ with Jackson having a role helping coach the Bengals’ special teams, don’t be surprised to see him push for Cartwright with coach Marvin Lewis. As the story goes, Jackson made the draft pick as a Washington assistant when Cartwright came into the NFL.

Whether he sees himself as a teammate or mentor

“A little bit of both. But I think the big thing is, they listen to what I saw. When you have someone who listens to what you say and they go out and do it, it’s like, wow, that’s what you get excitement from. Seeing those guys have great games on Sunday, it’s like I had a good game, because I’ve seen them put in the work during the week.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Just Fire Baby

    Bring Rock back.

    You need these “glue” guys in the locker room.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    In a world with no salary cap and no guaranteed money….then the argument about “it’s not your money” is somewhat relevant.

    But that is not how the NFL works. Overpay for Seymour, TK, Wimbley and Routt…..can’t make moves to get guys like Williams or Finnegan….or others.

    The Raiders are gettting no production for all the pay….and can’t substantively improve the roster to get production from someone else.

    Why? Because TK, Wimbley, Routt and Seymour have this team way over the cap.

    Salary cap management is just as important as 3rd down conversions…..

  • raiderjhawk

    I don’t know about bringing Rock back, he’s getting up there in age and has only been playing special teams. I guess if we have no plans of bringing back Bush then it might not be a bad idea since our RB’s have historically not stayed healthy.

  • RaiderDebo

    You telling me he made $4.5M worth of plays….plus you clear him out now and you gain a bunch of money next year.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    “$4.5M worth of plays”????? What the hell does that mean?

  • RaiderDebo

    SnB Offense Defense Specialteams Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 9:33 am
    In a world with no salary cap and no guaranteed money….then the argument about “it’s not your money” is somewhat relevant.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Wrong. Until you OWN a team, it will NEVER be your money! Worrying about player salaries is a joke! It’s pro football folks. Guys make a lot of money. Get over it.

  • 38Cs

    4. RaiderDebo Says: March 11th, 2012 at 9:42 am

    You telling me he made $4.5M worth of plays….plus you clear him out now and you gain a bunch of money next year. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    “$4.5M worth of plays”????? What the hell does that mean?
    –——————%%&&–++++++++++++++++++@@@@@@@@

    Im wondering the same thing dude lol

  • 38Cs

    My ideal free agent signings include: williams, finnegan, Franklin.
    Resign Reece

  • Dakota

    Real fans have to think about player contracts because it directly affects what roster moves your team can make under a salary cap. That is a pretty settled argument. To think otherwise is very ignorant.

  • 38Cs

    REAL FANS? Funny

  • Just Fire Baby

    4.5 million dollars worth of plays, is pretty simple.

    Look at defensive ends in the NFL who make 4.5 million plus, and compare their production.

    In Wimbley’s case, he made $11 million dollars last year. 3rd highest paid DE in the league, and he wasn’t in the top 15 in sacks for DE’s in the league.

  • RaiderDebo

    Dakota Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 9:49 am
    Real fans have to think about player contracts because it directly affects what roster moves your team can make under a salary cap. That is a pretty settled argument. To think otherwise is very ignorant.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    So we get rid of Kam and add who? What do we add for $4.5M in place of our best pass rusher that makes us so much better? IMO, we’ve already improved with the subtraction of Breshnahan and the addition of Allen and Tarver.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I would change “real fans” with “intelligent fans”.

    If Reggie McKenzie is worrying about it, than I am worrying about it.

    Reggie is worrying about it because it impacts the teams ability to win games.

    I want the team to win games.

    Again, not rocket science.

  • Dakota

    Yes, real fans. Casual fans may not track salaries and cap space and just go to games for fun etc, but real fans care about how a players contract affects the teams ability to improve.

  • RaiderDebo

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 9:53 am
    4.5 million dollars worth of plays, is pretty simple.

    Look at defensive ends in the NFL who make 4.5 million plus, and compare their production.

    In Wimbley’s case, he made $11 million dollars last year. 3rd highest paid DE in the league, and he wasn’t in the top 15 in sacks for DE’s in the league.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    So it’s just about sacks? What about pressures?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Pressures count, but not as much as sacks.

    That’s like saying a Pitcher should care less about runs allowed, and more about baserunners allowed.

    His job is to sack the QB on 3rd down, if he gets a “pressure” the QB can still convert said 3rd down. He can’t do so, on his backside.

    I like Wimbley, but he is overpaid and we don’t have the salary cap room. Don’t like it or agree with it, take it up with Reggie McKenzie.

  • RaiderDebo

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 9:55 am
    I would change “real fans” with “intelligent fans”.

    If Reggie McKenzie is worrying about it, than I am worrying about it.

    Reggie is worrying about it because it impacts the teams ability to win games.

    I want the team to win games.

    Again, not rocket science.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    It’s Reggie’s job to worry about it, not yours. You have absolutely no say in who we keep or cut. And you have even less of a say on which players are overpaid or underpaid. “Intelligent” fans don’t lose sleep over things they can’t control.

  • Dakota

    Wimbleys contract, if not altered, will lock the raiders into paying him a guaranteed 30 million over the next 3 years. If it was as simple as looking at just next year that might be different , but the fact is you can’t allow a marginal player like wimbley to lock up that much cap space. That was the old regimes practice. That bs is over. Thankfully.

  • Just Fire Baby

    It’s Reggie’s job to worry about it, not yours. You have absolutely no say in who we keep or cut. And you have even less of a say on which players are overpaid or underpaid. “Intelligent” fans don’t lose sleep over things they can’t control.

    *******************************

    Um…. I don’t lose any sleep over it and I do realize I have no say about it.

    Just trying to provide some intelligent insight on the topic, something that is completely lost on you.

    You just keep going around continuing your epic face-plant about Jamarcus and leave the intelligent football convo to the rest of us.

  • Just Fire Baby

    So when Jerry or Steve post a thread about whether to cut or keep Wimbley, based strictly on his ratio of production compared to compensation, what should we all talk about?

    Nothing? Come on Reggie, who cares what he makes?

    LOL

  • Dakota

    Lol

  • RaiderDebo

    Dakota Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 10:01 am
    Wimbleys contract, if not altered, will lock the raiders into paying him a guaranteed 30 million over the next 3 years. If it was as simple as looking at just next year that might be different , but the fact is you can’t allow a marginal player like wimbley to lock up that much cap space. That was the old regimes practice. That bs is over. Thankfully.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Wimbley is not a “marginal” player just because you say so. He didn’t get that contract because he’s marginal. The guys who made the decision to give him that contract know a hell of a lot more about football than anyone on this board. If he was such a marginal player, Reggie would have cut him a long time ago. It may still happen, but Reggie is trying to figure it out because Kam is a damn good player. I thought the guy was our best player on D last year. He could really explode under the new regime.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Funny though Debo, you sured seem to want to play blog GM when it comes to Jamarcus Russell.

    Why did you take such a stance about whether he should be cut or not? Wasn’t your decision to make, you had “no say” in it.

    Why did you try to tell us that Al wouldn’t do it, because Al paid him so much money already? All NFL players make a lot of money right, get over it.

    Why do you STILL try to tell us where he will land next? Not your decision to make, not sure why you are losing sleep over it.

  • Dakota

    Don’t be surprised to see wimbley still on the roster as of march 13. I don’t think his guarantees kick in until the 17th.

    If he is still unwilling to alter it, and I don’t blame him for that, then we have to cut him. He is a one trick pony. Not a huge loss.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    So we get rid of Kam and add who? What do we add for $4.5M in place of our best pass rusher that makes us so much better? IMO, we’ve already improved with the subtraction of Breshnahan and the addition of Allen and Tarver.

    ========================================

    If the issue was ONLY the $4.5 mil for this year, I’d be all in favor of keeping Kam. But it isn’t. If he’s still here in a few days, then another $19 million in future guarantees kicks in for a guy who showed every sign last year of Kevin Duckworth Syndrome (i.e. “I’ve got my money, so no reason to play hard anymore”).

    A year from now, do you really want Reggie to be hamstrung by another guaranteed $11 million against the cap (and $8 million the year after) for a player who’s completely quit trying because hey, he gets paid no matter what?

  • Dakota

    A lot of al supporters overrate our players. Like some contagious disease or something. It will take some time to flush that mindset Out of our system.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I wouldn’t call Kam marginal. If he were set to make $5 million this year, there would be no debate on whether he is coming back or not. None what-so-ever.

    But since he is not, Reggie has to make this tough decision, and we get to debate on whether we should or shouldn’t do it.

    That’s how sports media works. GM’s make the decisions, fans debate about whether they should do it or not.

  • http://www.mailmachineshouston.com mikeschoice

    raider debo – you need anger management

  • Dakota

    Can’t stop the run, not good in pass coverage, one pass rush move= marginal. Much like burgess.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    RaiderDebo,

    In the NFL, the salary cap limits the amount of money a team can spend on its players….

    Guraranteed money freezes portions of the same salary cap both immediately and into the future.

    If that LIMITED salary cap is taken up by players that get pressures but no sacks….that LIMITS the team from getting a player that could get a bunch of sacks to go with those pressures.

    Do you get it? For every JAMARCUS RUSSELL you sign, you have to spend another $12M on Carson Palmer….which then limits how much is available to get a real pass rusher…..

    You are a guy that is there to enjoy the game. Good for you.

    I would like to see the team win some games and go far in the playoffs.

  • Dakota

    Time to go enjoy the beautiful day. I’ll argue about this with all of u later!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    The Raiders had 5 guys on that defense making top tier money…..Routt, Huff, Seymour, TK and Wimbley.

    They were asked to play at a similiar level to guys like Revis, Reed, Ngata, and Ware.

    We didn’t get anything f’n close to that!

    One play here and there, or a good game against a 3rd string Tackle doesn’t mean shhhhhhh

    Raise your freekn standards.

    I am glad YOU don’t have a say in the roster decisions either.

    Reggie is going to TRY to fix this mess.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Reggie WILL fix this mess, because he understands how top-tier organizations are run, having seen it first-hand for 15 years.

    Give it 2-3 years, and we will not be having this annual roster purges due to being hamstrung by the salary-cap.

    And ONLY THAN, will this team be in the hunt for the playoffs every year again.

  • RaiderDebo

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 10:11 am
    Funny though Debo, you sured seem to want to play blog GM when it comes to Jamarcus Russell.

    Why did you take such a stance about whether he should be cut or not? Wasn’t your decision to make, you had “no say” in it.

    Why did you try to tell us that Al wouldn’t do it, because Al paid him so much money already? All NFL players make a lot of money right, get over it.

    Why do you STILL try to tell us where he will land next? Not your decision to make, not sure why you are losing sleep over it.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Apples and oranges as usual. Unlike most of you on this board, I wanted to see our #1 overall pick succeed. And I was pissed that the organization did several things to ensure that wouldn’t happen and then scapegoated him out of the organization to the glee of a bunch of sheep fans. When it came to the money Al paid him, I brought that up only because I thought that would buy him another year. At the end of the day, not really all that worried about the dumb decision the Raiders made. Wasn’t the 1st and it won’t be the last. I just enjoys checking the sheep haters on the subject.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Enough about JaPaycheck. A starting QB who can’t be bothered over the course of three seasons to even learn the playbook is unworthy of discussion in an NFL blog.

  • RaiderDebo

    Do you get it? For every JAMARCUS RUSSELL you sign, you have to spend another $12M on Carson Palmer….which then limits how much is available to get a real pass rusher…..
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    “Have to spend another $12M on Carson Palmer”?????? Another case of Jamarcus Russell scapegoating. How the hell is it JR’s fault that we replaced JC, a player that was making $4mill and actually protected the ball and won games, with a turnover machine loser who QUIT on his previous team? Another one of those decisions I was talking about. All the salary-cap room in the world doesn’t change this.

  • hwnrdr

    So I hear that Randy Moss will be doing work outs for the Niners tomorrow…

  • VanHeathen

    The NFL is the Ultimate MoneyBall game…
    On field productions has to be DIRECTLY tied to salary, or you get a continual bottom dweller.
    MLB is a joke without a salary cap.

    Rumble Reggie Rumble…
    got to clean this house.

  • VanHeathen

    36.hwnrdr Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 10:43 am
    So I hear that Randy Moss will be doing work outs for the Niners tomorrow…

    =======================
    Harbaugh rolling the dice on his team chemistry…
    if Randy had anything left, he’d still be in NE.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    LOL at the teams bringing Randy Moss in. Decent wideouts aren’t THAT hard to find; the only reason we had such a drought was Al’s (RIP) fixation on speed over production.

    Moss is 35 years old, and when he last played had three different teams give up on him in one season. Anybody who wants that headache is a fool.

  • RaiderDebo

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out. As we’ve seen over and over again, the salary cap can be circumvented. It took a week for Reggie to silence the Chicken Little crowd although there’s still a few hanging on. But screwing around with the coaching staff and not allowing your team to establish true offensive and defensive system results is what we’ve had here the last 10 years, with predictable results. Again, GB is the model for this and it’s the biggest reason we should be excited about what Reggie may bring.

  • RaiderRetribution

    With Selection Sunday today, not expecting any Raider updates today

    Speaking of which , kudos to your St. Mary’s finally beating out our Spokane’s Gonzaga for the Wcc title: with that said my predilection SMC a 6th seed, Gonzaga an 8th, and BYU a 12th seed.

  • imaquaman

    sometimes the money you make says a lot about that person as a team player .it shouldnt but it does .like jaholdout .number 1 overall get your ass in there and learn,,,or holdout get high and what was i saying?

  • r8eray

    Vegas, you bring him back at what $ ?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Reggie McKenzie is going at this roster like Juice Jones to his girl from the song “The Rain”

    These players will get the truth….

  • Seymour Bush

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Do you get it? For every JAMARCUS RUSSELL you sign, you have to spend another $12M on Carson Palmer….which then limits how much is available to get a real pass rusher…..
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    “Have to spend another $12M on Carson Palmer”?????? Another case of Jamarcus Russell scapegoating. How the hell is it JR’s fault that we replaced JC, a player that was making $4mill and actually protected the ball and won games, with a turnover machine loser who QUIT on his previous team? Another one of those decisions I was talking about. All the salary-cap room in the world doesn’t change this.
    ===========================================

    So let me get this straight: you are defending Jamarcus Russell and Jason Campbell but throwing Carson Palmer under the bus? OoooKaay. There goes your credibility.

  • Seymour Bush

    RaiderDebo Says:
    March 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The best teams in the NFL are the teams with the best coaching and scouting staffs. That’s why teams like Green Bay, the Pats and Steelers are good year in and year out.
    =========================================

    Not necessarily. Because of the free agent system, good players that have been in marginal programs can leave, take a pay cut, and go to those “winning” programs for a shot at the playoffs and Super Bowl. Look at Peyton Manning right now. If Manning signs with the Chiefs or Bronco’s it is not going to have a lot to do with their “scouting”.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    We need more players with the heart, character, desire and commitment of Rock Cartwright.

    We need less players like Rolando McLazy.

    DUMP SLOWLANDO.

  • edward teach

    http://footballscoop.com/news/5898-when-you-want-to-win-the-championship-mat-drills

    Pretty sure the new CBA doesn’t allow this kinda thing, but it sure would be nice to make our defense go through about 10 sessions like this during every week of training camp. We’d find out in a hurry who wants it and who doesn’t.

  • RaiderRetribution

    W/o Al Davis the franchise tag dollars will be going way down.

  • Raider Weapon X http://www.raidernationstation.com/

    Kudos to the Rock!

    Have a good sunday Nation!