June 30 (UPI) -- Protecting a franchise quarterback is one of the best investments NFL teams can make. The Oakland Raiders took a step to do that Thursday, extending RG Gabe Jackson.
Jackson will make the third-highest salary ($11.2 million) among NFL guards. Only Cleveland Browns guard Kevin Zietler and Raiders lineman Kelechi Osemele will make more dough in 2017.
After signing his monster contract last week, Raiders quarter Derek Carr said he didn't take as much money as he could have so the team could afford to sign its other stars.
"The main thing that I could just remember was all along the way, I was like, 'How do we keep my teammates?' That's, I don't know if it's weird how it sounds, but that was just what I kept telling him," Carr said, according to Raiders.com.
"I was like, 'OK that's cool. Yeah that's awesome, wow, cool. Is this good for Gabe [Jackson]? Is this good for Khalil [Mack]? Is this good for Amari [Cooper]?' He can tell you himself, these are things that I said to him numerous amounts of times. I didn't want to hurt our team; that's the last thing I would ever want to do. So, hopefully we didn't. That's the last thing that I intended to do and that's kind of why I was so involved."
The No. 81 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft did not allow a single sack last season. He ranked No. 22 out of 72 guards by Pro Football Focus. Jackson had more blocking attempts than any other guard to not allow a sack last season. He was rated as the 16th-best pass blocker.
Mack was the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year and recently ranked No. 5 on the 2017 NFL Top 100 list.