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Pro Bowl QB Derek Carr released by Las Vegas Raiders

For the past nine years, Derek Carr has meant everything to the Las Vegas Raiders. He was there, in Oakland, when the team went 3-13 during his rookie season after being the 36th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Two years later, Carr led a 12-3 record in his 15 starts, more than good enough to get the Raiders back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, ending a 14-year drought.

But 2016 was arguably the peak of Carr’s tenure with the Raiders, and he only ever made one playoff start, despite throwing for over 35,000 yards and becoming a four-time Pro Bowl QB.

Now, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter states, the Raiders are officially releasing Carr from his contract. Carr, who had a $40.4 million contract guarantee set to trigger on Feb. 15, will now hit the open market, where the veteran is immediately free to sign with any NFL team he chooses.

Carr’s release saves the Raiders $29.2 million in cap space as they head into the offseason in search of a new QB. They will now have roughly $50 million to spend in free agency.

Related: Latest leak suggests Derek Carr ‘wasn’t tough enough in the pocket or in cold weather’ for Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr’s free agent market expected to be hot

NFL: Pro Bowl-AFC at NFC
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the Raiders made it clear they wanted to move on from their longtime QB the moment they benched him ahead of their Week 16 loss to San Francisco, there will be several teams interested in adding the top-20 NFL starting QB.

Carr was set to have a cap hit of $34.8 million in 2023, so it will be interesting to see how much the soon-to-be 32-year-old commands on the open market. Rest assured, Carr will land in a starting role heading into next season, but where?

With so many teams looking to improve at QB this offseason, we could see a bidding war emerge for the nine-year pro. Spotrac estimates Carr could be looking at a contract worth roughly $110 million over three seasons. This would place the former Raiders QB 10th among the NFL’s highest-paid QBs heading into the offseason. Prior to his release, Carr was set to be the NFL’s seventh-highest earner among QBs in 2023.

With teams like the New York Jets, Washington Commanders, and the entire NFC South in search of a new QB this offseason, Carr should have plenty of suitors. Let the land rush begin.

Related: 5 logical Derek Carr landing spots in NFL free agency

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