The offseason is finally here and the Las Vegas Raiders‘ biggest focus needs to be regarding what they plan to do with Derek Carr. The veteran quarterback is entering a contract year and wants an extension. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler like Carr, and plan to give him a new contract this offseason.
However, the situation might not be so simple. Owner Mark Davis isn’t known to meddle in football operations but Carr could be looking to get paid around $40 million per season. Considering the steep price, Davis will be closely involved in contract negotiations and he might not be entirely convinced Carr is worthy of getting paid like one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Davis and his closest advisors have a number in mind that they won’t cross in contract negotiations:
I don’t know why Carr would take a shorter deal given the robust market for quarterbacks this offseason, but … maybe he is intrigued by working with Josh McDaniels, staying in Las Vegas and chasing the elusive playoff win.
Now, that’s going to cost the Raiders more per season than a longer deal would, likely more than $40 million a year for two or three seasons. Plus, they would have to beef up the $20 million he is due to make in 2022.
And that’s where owner Mark Davis, president Dan Ventrelle and senior vice president Tom Delaney come in. They are going to try to stay in the shadows on this, but I have a flashlight and there is definitely a financial number on Carr that they won’t go over.
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Could Things Get Ugly?
When a team has a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, it’s easy to accept that they’ll be getting a record-breaking contract. While Carr is very good, he’s at the lower end of the top-10 at best. Tafur didn’t reveal exactly what the number is that Davis won’t cross but it’s likely somewhere in the $30 million to $40 million range. It’s easy to understand why the owner might be apprehensive to go over $40 million a year.
From Carr’s standpoint, he has no reason to make this easy for the Raiders. The team is on its seventh head coach since he was drafted by the team in 2014. He’s dealt with the team trading his best friend in Khalil Mack, a move to a new city and multiple controversies. Through all of that, he’s been a good soldier and leader – rarely complaining. Despite that, he’s consistently in the middle of trade rumors and the Raiders have done little to quiet them in recent years. He has the right to demand to get paid after leading the team to the playoffs in one of the most tumultuous seasons a team has had across the NFL in years.
Carr Isn’t Going to Take a Discount
In the past, Carr has made it clear that he loves the Raiders and would rather retire than play for another team. Some fans have interpreted that as him being willing to take a hometown discount when his contract was up. Anything is possible but Carr isn’t likely to take a discount, even if it’s so the team has more cap space to sign his buddy Davante Adams.
This will be one of the last times he’ll be able to get a big payday as a football player. The value for quarterbacks is at an all-time high and it’s only going up. If the Raiders decide to wait until next offseason to sign him, the going rate for a quarterback of Carr’s caliber could get up to $50 million a season. The best call might be to sign him now.