Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is a happier man now that he has a new contract.
He was the NFL's lowest paid coach after the 2016 season, until owner Mark Davis tore up his contract last month and gave him a better deal.
A third-round pick in the 1985 draft, Del Rio provided a memory from his time at the Scouting Combine more than three decades ago. "It wasn't a very good contract to start with, but it was an opportunity and I bet on our ability to get this thing turned around", Del Rio said during his press conference at the NFL Combine.
Del Rio needed some tools turning the Raiders around, which meant Davis had to write a few checks. He spent big in free agency for players.
That happened halfway through the deal, following a 12-4 campaign and the team's first playoff berth since 2002. Del Rio said he didn't want to "close the door" on the chance that Murray re-signs. "But there's one thing about...throughout life, many moments where you find the ability to humble yourself and just keep your head down and keep working hard, that side of it usually takes care of itself". So I love what I do. "I think for us, we want to develop Connor Cook first as our backup quarterback". "Year 2, we learned how to finish games and win". "Now it's just going to be up to what the team and myself, getting together, what we think is the best plan".
"We've taken this process as slow as possible ever since our team got knocked out of the playoffs".
While Del Rio said it with a slight smirk, the Raiders' loss of quarterback Derek Carr to a Week 16 broken right fibula was truly no laughing matter.
The moral of the story? Cunningham, Del Rio said, ran a lot faster in the shoes than he could.
Del Rio said Carr is ahead of schedule in terms of rehab but wouldn't commit to full participation in the entire off-season program. That prompted him to sign a below-market contract, one that put his salary near the bottom of his profession.
Given the Raiders' strength on the offensive line and with an established quarterback in Derek Carr, it makes sense. McGloin, a free agent, is expected to head elsewhere.
"I think that's good for the league and our community", Lynch said. "John is like that senior, the buffer, that guy that has experience".
Hola, Mexico, again: For the second straight season, the Raiders will play one of their home games in Mexico City. "I'll never put a number on it, but I can assure you I'll be back 100 percent, ready to go, and we're nearly there".
"I would love it if somehow, the commissioner could make sure that every other year we have it as a road game and not always a home game for us", he said. "Look forward to going down again".