The Las Vegas Raiders entered the offseason by signing a new general manager and a new head coach. They could have just as easily chosen to go in a new direction at quarterback too, moving on from Derek Carr, who had just one year remaining on his contract. But they went in a different direction, one that keeps their playoff roster largely intact, while adding a few complementary pieces.
Las Vegas, who went to the playoffs as the No. 5 seed and lost to the AFC Champions, had other goals in mind this offseason, including signing edge rusher Maxx Crosby to a four-year, $94 million extension about a month ago.
On top of trading and signing for star wide receiver Davante Adams and picking up edge rusher Chandler Jones to complement Crosby, another big step was accomplished on Wednesday in extending Carr for three years and $121.5 million.
Now, the discussions of what the team is going to do with Carr have been put to bed entering the final year of his contract as the Raiders have locked up the Pro Bowl QB through 2025.
Carr, who will enter his ninth season in the organization since being drafted in the second round in the 2014 draft, continues to be the longest-tenured quarterback in the AFC.
Derek Carr wouldn’t have it any other way, Raiders or retirement
The 6-foot-3 signal-caller said he either wanted to remain in a Silver and Black uniform or hit the links to show his support and belief to the organization.
“I’ve only wanted to be a Raider and I told my agent I’m either going to be a Raider or I’m going to be playing golf,” Carr told the media earlier today with his wife and four children in attendance for the press conference. “I don’t want to play anywhere else. That’s how much this place means to me.”Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr on future plans
With this new deal in place for Carr, it gives his teammates a future opportunity for them to stay, knowing that could have happened prior to his five-year, $125 million contract the three-time Pro Bowler signed in 2017 to keep a player like Khalil Mack in the organization.
By making this a team-friendly deal, Carr said he did not want to make any mistakes with this deal when his contract five years ago would ultimately lose Mack.
“For me, everyone looks at certain numbers and they’re not going to get the whole picture of how it’s structured and how he did things,” Carr said. “Tim, my agent, myself and the team, we made sure guys like Chandler, guys like Davante, guys like, hopefully, Hunter (Renfrow) and Foster (Moreau) and those guys can stay here.
“I went through a heartbreak already last time I signed my contract, my best friend left, and I didn’t want that to ever happen again.”
Carr shifts mindset to win with fellow Raiders
As an older player, who now has gone through signing two contracts and now two different coaching regimes, Carr is looking unselfishly for the benefit of the team.
As the contract negotiations were taking place between the QB, his agent, general manager Dave Ziegler, and head coach Josh McDaniels, Carr is believing this deal is for everyone in the organization, both his teammates on the field and those supporting the Raiders.
“This was an opportunity for me to prove to the team, the organization, to our fans that the way we are going to structure this, is so that we can keep everyone together and really have real continuity and something to build on,” Carr said. “For me, it is how do we do that? Usually in these negotiations, how much money can we get and how much can we save.
“This was just different. So, there was a learning curve about it, how do we make that happen to where I feel good and to where the team feels great, like we can still build a championship team around you. And that was important to us and hopefully that contract proves that.”
As the offseason continues, voluntary offseason workouts began earlier this week as most of the players were in attendance. Even players who are still working out their contracts for the 2022 season were present.
Carr said having a lot of teammates on hand is key to building a victorious culture, so it is already in place before Week 1 of the NFL season begins in September.
“Even with guys with contract stuff, hopefully that showed, yeah that’s business, but our main objective in our heart is to win and we know to win, we have to put the work in together,” Carr said. “It is very evident. We are going to compete and the only thing that matters is winning. That’s it. That’s how you get better as a team.”