Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback and should be paid accordingly
Derek Carr isn’t happy with the way his contract has been handled according to Michael Silver of NFL.com. Other than the pace of the talks it wasn’t specified what’s holding those talks back, but whether it’s because of the compensation or the parking space he wants, Carr will get a new contract. Alas, there is an additional layer to it.
Some fans are asking Carr to give the Oakland Raiders a hometown discount as a way to show that he’s a team player, that he’s loyal to the team. However, this statement is faulty as there’s no loyalty in the NFL.
First, Carr has earned a second contract and if the Raiders don’t pay him what he wants, someone else will because of the scarcity of franchise quarterbacks in the league. Both the Raiders and Carr know it, and if that were the way the story folded, the Raiders would end up going back to square one and Carr being paid what he wanted.
NFL quarterbacks get paid premium, as mediocre as they can be; just look at Mike Glennon this year or Brock Osweiler the previous one. On the other specter, Andrew Luck got a six-year, $140 million contract 2 years ago. Based on inflation, $27-28 million per year wouldn’t be too much to pay if you know you’re settled at quarterback for the next 5 years at least, barring injuries.
Likewise, $27-28 million a year is the price of having a premium quarterback and if he’s that good, he shouldn’t ask for a penny less. Some fans would like Carr to take a hometown discount in order to load at other positions on the roster. That is a fallacy, as salary-cap management and drafting players are the reason a team can pay the premium to a special player while still retaining quality players.
Moreover, when a person is low on options or leverage, he might get a low-ball-under-the market deal. This is not Carr’s case and even if he doesn’t want to be the highest paid quarterback, he has to be compensated with a contract that reflects his status as a player on the rise, the face of a franchise for years to come.
Seriously, how many of us (other than Tom Brady) would give a hometown discount if we were at the top of our profession. If you are not one of them, stop asking Carr to do the same.
If Carr doesn’t become the highest paid quarterback in the league, he must be one of the highest paid.