One of the biggest storylines of the NFL offseason will surround what the Las Vegas Raiders plan to do with Derek Carr. The quarterback is entering a contract year and quarterbacks of his caliber don’t typically play in lame-duck seasons. The most likely outcome will either be the team trades him or hands him a big extension.
As of now, it looks like the Raiders are leaning towards paying him. New head coach Josh McDaniels has sung Carr’s praises since joining the team and there’s been no indication that he doesn’t want to keep the quarterback. He’s going to want to get paid a big number after leading Las Vegas to the playoffs in a tumultuous season. According to Jordan Schultz, Carr is looking to make over $35 million per year on his next contract.
If Carr got handed a $35 million contract annually today, he would be tied with Russell Wilson as the fifth highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Other quarterback dominoes could fall this offseason where $35 million a year seems more reasonable. Regardless, the Raiders are going to have to pay if they have to keep the quarterback.
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Carr Could Get $40 Million Annually
It’s important to note that Schultz is reporting that Carr wants $35+ million, which means the contract could be closer to $40 million annually. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the quarterback will likely get $40 million annually in his next contract.
$40 million a year would tie Carr with Dak Prescott as the third highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. It’s a steep price for the Raiders to pay but quarterbacks are getting paid right now. If Las Vegas isn’t willing to pay $40 million a year for Carr, there’s likely another team that would.
Should Raiders Pay Carr $40 Million a Year?
Carr is not a top-five quarterback in the NFL by any metric outside of passing yards last season. If he gets paid $40 million annually, he’ll be getting paid like a top-five quarterback. That said, Prescott might not even be as good as Carr and he’s making that type of money. If McDaniels truly feels that he can win a Super Bowl with Carr as his quarterback, the team should pay him.
It’s difficult to get a full assessment of Carr in recent years. At times, he’s looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL but his production usually trails off as a season goes on. Much of that has been due to poor offensive line play and the lack of a No. 1 wide receiver. Until the Raiders have a No. 1 wide receiver that plays an entire season, Carr can’t be fully assessed. McDaniels is one of the best offensive minds in the NFL and knows quarterback. His endorsement of Carr should not be taken lightly, especially since players like Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers could be traded this offseason. There’s been talk about him taking a bit of hometown discount but that doesn’t appear realistic. Barring a trade for a superstar quarterback, the Raiders should pay Carr a fair amount this offseason, which will likely end up being in the $40 million a year range.