Derek Carr Has Made Final Decision About Retiring After Season: Report

derek carr

Getty Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

The Derek Carr era for the Las Vegas Raiders is essentially over. All that is left to happen is the quarterback getting cut or traded in the offseason. Carr has said in the past that he would rather retire than play for another team. After he signed a contract extension with the team in the offseason, he said he would’ve rather played golf for the rest of his life than go to a new team.

Well, that’s finally getting put to the test and Jarrett Stidham throwing for 365 yards and three touchdowns against the No. 1 San Francisco 49ers defense only solidifies the fact that Carr is done in Las Vegas. However, he may have been premature when he said he’d rather retire than go elsewhere. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders do plan to trade Carr and he’s not ready to retire yet:

Carr, a three-time Pro Bowler, once famously said he’d rather quit football than play for another team. But make no mistake: Carr has no plans to retire and has no plans to go out like this. Sources say he’s telling people close to him that he has his best football ahead of him.

Decisions on Carr will have to come quickly. Based on the terms of his three-year, $121.5 million extension he signed before the season, his $32.9 million base salary for 2023 and an additional $7.5 million of his 2024 base becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster on the third day of the waiver period — or three days after the Super Bowl.

Carr Can’t Go out This Way

Perhaps if the Raiders let Carr finish the season and he led them to a win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, then he’d be fine with retiring. Unfortunately, he will not get a chance to do such a thing. His last game as a Raider featured him throwing three interceptions, including one on the final drive of the game that sealed a loss. It’s hard to imagine he’d let that be the last NFL pass he ever throws.

For years there’s been talk about how the Raiders’ bad defense and offensive line have held him back. This offseason, he’ll have a chance to go to a team with a better defense and finally settle the debate if the team’s struggles were because of Carr or because of the things around him. He has to be curious himself about what might happen.

Will Carr Force Raiders to Release Him?

In the long run, this could be the best thing that’s ever happened to Carr. Things with the Raiders were stale and it was clear both sides needed a fresh start. Now Carr will get the chance to pick his next team and can find one that’s a better fit. As Rapoport reported, the Raiders will try to trade the quarterback but it’s not so simple.

Carr has a no-trade clause in his contract but Las Vegas needs him off the books by February 15, 2023 or $32.9 million base salary for 2023, and another $7.5 million of his 2024 base becomes fully guaranteed. That would make it much more difficult to trade him and the Raiders would have a much bigger dead cap hit if they cut him. A decision has to be made by that date but Carr has no reason to help the team. He could simply tell the team that they either keep or cut him and that he’s not waiving his no-trade clause. That would likely force the Raiders to cut him outright, which would allow Carr to sign with whichever team he wants. He’d possibly leave some money on the table but odds are that he’d land a big contract in free agency.

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