During Jon Gruden’s tenure as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coach, Derek Carr’s future was always uncertain as the coach rarely gave definitive answers about the quarterback. It appears that things could be different under new head coach Josh McDaniels. Carr is entering a contract year and there are plenty of teams that would be interested in trading for him.
However, any speculation about the quarterback’s future appears to be moot. During the NFL Combine, McDaniels gave a definitive answer on who the Raiders’ starting quarterback will be in Week 1 of the 2022 season.
“Sure. Absolutely. There’s no doubt about it,” McDaniels said on NFL NOW when asked if Carr will be the Raiders’ starting quarterback in Week 1. “I really am excited about this opportunity to work together. I know what he’s done and I know what we might be able to go going forward together. And that’s what really excites me.”
That’s about as clear as the coach can be. Now, that doesn’t mean Carr is getting a long-term deal but it sounds like he’ll be starting for the Raiders this upcoming season regardless of what happens with his contract.
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McDaniels Looking Forward to Getting Know Carr
During his time as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, McDaniels was fortunate enough to coach the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady. He’ll now have to form a new relationship with Carr and hope that the duo can have similar success.
“I’m excited,” McDaniels said. “He’s been a leader of this franchise for a number of years. I’m getting to know him as a person. I’ll get to know him more as a player – more than just what I’ve been able to see on tape – as we go into the spring and into the summer.
“Excited that we have a veteran leader on our football team that knows how to play the position that’s won a lot of big games. Excited to see what we can do together.”
Carr was likely one of the reasons why McDaniels was eager to take the Raiders job. While he’s not one of the NFL’s truly elite quarterbacks, he’s very good and arguably deserves to be mentioned among the top-10 in the league.
Is a Carr Extension Coming?
McDaniels has had nice things to say about Carr since taking the Raiders job but this is the first time he’s definitively stated that he’ll be the starter in 2022. This could be good news on the contract extension front. Carr is likely seeking a contract that will pay him close to $40 million a year. That’s a steep price to pay for any player but finding a quarterback isn’t easy.
It’s still possible that the Raiders let Carr play out his contract but signs are pointing towards an extension happening. McDaniels is clearly a fan of the quarterback and the two should have a fruitful relationship for a long time. While it’s not uncommon for players to hold out until they get their new contracts, it’s hard to imagine Carr would do something like that.