With NFL free agency upon us, quarterbacks like Kirk Cousin, Case Keenum, and even A.J. McCarron are about to get overpaid. One off-season ago, the Raiders locked Derek Carr up with a 5-year, 125 million dollar contract extension. This sizable contract is actually quite the bargain for the Silver and Black, especially considering the sheer numbers of the deal are a tad misleading.
On the surface, it appears Carr is locked up for five years with the average cost being 25 million a year. This is simply not true. Derek Carr’s contract only pays him 25 million one year, 2017; his cap hit is only 25 million one year, 2018. In all the other years Carr will make around 20 million with a cap hits ranging from 19.9 to 22.5 million, according to Spotrac.
The reason for this: the 125 million dollar deal was an extension of his rookie contract. Carr still had one year left his rookie contract, that year was worth a little over a million dollars. So essentially, last season Carr was given a six-year, 126 million dollar contract. Currently remaining on Carr’s contract is five years and about 101 million dollars. Carr will not see free agency until 2023, barring something unexpected.
Compared to Other Quarterback Contracts
After the 2018 season, Carr’s average cap hit for the remainder of his contract will be about 21 million dollars. By comparison, this looks very splendid. The other team in the Bay just gave their quarterback quite the contract. Jimmy G’s deal carries quite the heavy thump to the 49ers’ pocketbook. Garoppolo’s cap hit will only be less than 26 million dollars one season, 2019. Garoppolo has a career TD: INT ratio of 12:5. Carr’s contract also stands up well against guys like Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck, and Blake Bortles.
Kirk Cousins is rumored to be being offered three years, 91 million dollars from the Vikings. The accuracy may be questionable, but this rumor shows just how much young, quality quarterbacks can command on the open market.
What if Carr hits FA in 2018?
Had Carr never signed his extension and assuming the Raiders hadn’t franchise tagged him, Carr would be a free agent this off-season. Even with his down year in 2017, multiple teams would’ve given him a blank check. Quarterback-needy teams with high cap figures include the Browns (assuming they didn’t trade for Tyrod Taylor and went after Carr instead), Jets, Broncos, and Bills. Imagine the pain if Oakland lost the best signal caller the team has had since Rich Gannon, especially if it was to the division rival Broncos.
Raider Nation should be very thankful for having Carr on the contract he is on. Over the next week, teams that aren’t as lucky are going to be forced to go into bidding wars for older but lesser quarterbacks. The contract will look even better when Jon Gruden gets No. 4 back on track in 2018.