Against all odds, Derek Carr is set to be the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. The team has been linked to the likes of Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and more over the last two offseasons but have decided to stick with their quarterback. At this point, it’s obvious the Raiders believe in Carr and it’s true that he has gotten better each year under Jon Gruden.
However, another that ends without a playoff berth could spell trouble for the quarterback. If the Raiders do eventually decide to move on from Carr, he won’t likely have any trade value. He recently came out and made it clear that he’d rather retire than play for another team. In an interview with The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Carr had a chance to clarify those comments and decided to simply double down:
What my heart meant was that I am going to give everything to the Raiders that I possibly can. I don’t want to play for anybody else no matter what happens — and some people twisted what I was saying or focused on the ship going down part. I obviously want to win and I don’t ever want to go anywhere else.
I don’t ever want to play on another team. I have been asked by other people, some of my friends have been begging me to come play for them and their GM or coach really wants me — “They’ll do it today, they will get you today” — and all of that kind of stuff. And these were Super Bowl-contending teams. I could have been out of here every year for the last four years, and in my heart, I will give 1,000 percent to the Raiders because I don’t want to play anywhere else. And I mean that. I love the city of Las Vegas. I love this organization and I would rather play golf every day of my life than play for somebody else. That was what I meant with that. This is my team, was the heart of my message, this is my team for the rest of my life that my family is going to root for.
While many Raider fans have soured on Carr, he’s well respected around the league. If he decided that he would be willing to play for a team outside of Las Vegas, he should have plenty of suitors.
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Carr Talks Contract Extension
Luckily for the Raiders, Carr has a very digestible contract. He has a $22.1 million cap hit this season and the team could move on from him next offseason without any dead cap. None of that really matters if Carr continues to play well. He could be in line for a contract extension in the near future. For now, he’s not really worrying about it, via Tafur:
Not at all. I know that coach (Jon) Gruden, (general manager Mike) Mayock and my agent (Tim Younger) have talked about those things and they have a plan. Obviously, I don’t share anything like that. And I have told my agent, “Honestly, whether it’s now or next year, or whenever they want to do it, I really don’t care.” I want to win the Super Bowl. That’s why I signed to stay here. That’s why, if I sign again, it’s to stay here. Because I want to win here.
There was chatter of the Raiders extending Carr’s contract this offseason but that wasn’t necessary. He’s still under contract through 2022. Next offseason, it will be a major talking point depending on how Carr plays.
Pivotal Year for Carr
This may not be a make-or-break year for Carr but it’s certainly important. If he goes five straight years without a playoff berth, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders will give him a new contract. Also, somebody is going to have to be held accountable for the team’s losing ways. Carr and general manager Mike Mayock will get the ax before Gruden does.
If Carr has great numbers but the Raiders’ defense holds them back, then Mayock could be out. The quarterback just needs to control his controllables. He’s got great offensive talent to work with and should have an excellent year.