The moment the Las Vegas Raiders decided to bench Derek Carr in Week 17, the organization essentially made the decision that their starting quarterback of the past nine seasons would be moving on in the offseason.
Well, the Raiders’ season has been over since Jan. 7, yet Carr is still a member of the Silver and Black. While the Raiders may have felt that Carr’s performance was less than satisfactory in 2022, the 31-year-old’s effort earned him his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl.
On Thursday, Carr participated in the early portion of the 2023 Pro Bowl games, and it gave him a chance to not only make a joke or two about his situation but also provided more media access to reporters. This gave the media a chance to inquire about Carr’s future with the Raiders.
With Carr and the Raiders starting down the barrel at a $40.4 million injury guarantee that triggers if he’s on the roster on/after Feb. 15, there is a strong sense of urgency to work out a trade, or at least one would think there would be.
Derek Carr prioritizing ability to win
Now, Carr, who holds a no-trade clause, could make this process much easier on the Raiders by agreeing to extend the Feb. 15 further out, buying Las Vegas more time to find a trade partner, yet the QB whose team turned their backs on him may be preparing to do the same.
When asked about the possibility of agreeing to extend the date, Carr replied, “I don’t think that would be best for me.”
“I just want to win. There’s a lot of teams that want to win. I’m just looking for teams that have made that decision consistently, that they’ll continually choose to do whatever it takes to put a winning program out there. And so, for me, I just wanna win a championship. That’s at the forefront of my mind. It’s not money. It’s not this; it’s not that. I just want to win. I’ve thrown for the yards. I have the records. I’ve done the Pro Bowls. It’s fun, and I’m thankful for all of it. But, as you guys have known me, that’s not at all why I do it. I want to win a championship. So that’s on the forefront. That doesn’t guarantee wherever I go to we can automatically do it, but I’m just trying to find the place where I have the best chance possible.”Raiders QB Derek Carr on his uncertain playing future (H/T to Pro Football Talk)
Carr signed a three-year, $121 million contract extension with the Raiders prior to the start of the 2022 season. That contract is set to begin in the 2023 year, running through 2025. He is set to have a cap hit of $34.8 million next year.
This salary places Carr as the seventh-highest-paid QB in the NFL heading into the offseason. Yet, once players like Joe Burrow and possibly Lamar Jackson sign long-term extensions, Carr’s placement among the highest-paid will naturally slip down the rankings. But it won’t be the Raiders paying the price.