The Las Vegas Raiders continue to get closer to the February 15 deadline to make a decision on quarterback Derek Carr. On that date, $40.4 million gets guaranteed on his contract so the team needs to have a trade agreement or they’ll have to cut him outright. While Carr has only said positive things about the Raiders in public, he’s likely not happy with how things went down.
After nine years as the starting quarterback, the team benched him following a three-interception performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carr was then sent home and it’s unclear if that was his decision or the team’s decision. Regardless, the quarterback didn’t get the chance to play one last game in front of the Raiders crowd. Some believe that the team didn’t do right by Carr and don’t think it’s the quarterback’s fault for Las Vegas’ struggles. Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin went so far as to say that the Raiders used Carr to land Davante Adams and then kicked him to the curb.
“I can’t believe they sat him down with an intent to move him after that [Steelers] game,” Irvin told Adrian Hernandez in a January 27 video clip. “No way you thought that was going to happen. … After they brought his boy over to play wide receiver … you used him to get Davante.”
Raiders Couldn’t Have Foreseen Carr Not Working Out
While the relationship between Carr and head coach Josh McDaniels didn’t last long, there’s no doubt the coach wanted it to work. He was a fan of the quarterback when he was with the New England Patriots and had nothing good things to say about him when he took the Raiders job. The contract extension that the team gave Carr in the offseason didn’t do them many favors. They gave him a $5 million raise in 2022 and a no-trade clause, which limits their ability to trade him. They wouldn’t have given him that deal if they didn’t hope he’d be around for a few more years.
Carr didn’t have a great season and that’s the biggest reason why he’s getting cut or traded. He was 24th in passer rating and led the NFL with 14 interceptions before he got benched. He’s had some great years with the Raiders but as Charles Woodson tweeted on December 28: “You must always impress the new regime.”
Will Raiders Find a Trade for Carr?
Carr doesn’t have much incentive to waive his no-trade clause for the Raiders. The likeliest outcome is that he tells the team to keep or cut him. Las Vegas would cut him in that scenario. However, a trade isn’t impossible. If a team that Carr would want to go to aggressively pursues a trade so that the quarterback doesn’t get on the open market, the Raiders could convince him to waive his no-trade clause.
It’s getting close to the deadline but Las Vegas still has time to make a deal. Carr is eager to move on but wants to find the right situation. The Raiders just need to convince him that a trade is what will get him to right the situation. It won’t be easy but wilder things have happened in the NFL.