Raiders Make Announcement Regarding QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr

Getty Derek Carr.

After nine seasons and 142 career starts, the Derek Carr era for the Las Vegas Raiders has come to an end. The writing was on the wall following the team’s Week 16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where the quarterback threw three interceptions and was benched after the game. Las Vegas did attempt to trade Carr and had a deal in place with the New Orleans Saints, but the quarterback refused to waive his no-trade clause, which forced the team’s hand.

The Raiders informed Carr of his release on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Last offseason, the Raiders gave Carr a three-year contract extension. It was a team-friendly deal at the time, which is why he was able to secure a no-trade clause. The team protected itself from having to keep the quarterback long-term by waiting for the guaranteed money to kick in but the cost of that is that they won’t be receiving anything in a trade for a top-15 quarterback. Carr will now be able to hit free agency immediately and have a head start over other free agent quarterbacks.

Carr Leaves Raiders as Most Prolific QB in Franchise History

While the Raiders and Carr aren’t leaving on the best of terms, the two sides will be linked for a long time. He may not have won as many games as he would like, but Carr is the most prolific passer in team history from a statistical standpoint. His 35,222 passing yards, 217 touchdown passes and 142 starts are all the most by a Raiders quarterback. It’s going to take a long time for another quarterback to come in and break those records.

The biggest knock on Carr’s Raiders resume is the lack of winning. Despite starting in 46 more games than Ken Stabler, the Hall of Famer has more wins with 69 compared to 63. Carr also only started in one playoff game that he wasn’t able to win. It’s not fair to put the Raiders’ struggles over the past decade on Carr but he was never able to get the team over the hump.

Saints Still Interested in Adding Carr

The fact that Carr wasn’t traded isn’t a referendum on the league-wide interest in him. Many teams knew that he was likely to be released so there was no reason to offer assets to the Raiders. The Saints were the one team trying to trade for him but accepting any trade didn’t make much sense for Carr. Even though he turned down a trade to New Orleans, the team isn’t out of the Carr sweepstakes yet, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

“For what it’s worth, by all accounts, the Saints’ two-day visit with Carr went well,” Breer wrote. “The quarterback has maintained a relationship with Dennis Allen, his first NFL coach, over the years, so I’d expect New Orleans to take another stab at Carr in free agency.”

Carr should also see interest from the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets and several other teams. Quarterbacks his caliber don’t typically hit the open market so he should have his pick of a few teams. What will be interesting to watch is how much money teams are willing to pay him on the free agency market. He might regret not being more open to trade with the Raiders if he ends up making less money.

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