Derek Carr

Derek Carr Was NFL’s Best Paid Player For Less than Three Months

The Kansas City Chiefs just made quarterback Patrick Mahomes the highest-paid players in NFL history. I’m interested in seeing how long Mahomes will hold the title of the richest player. After all, Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr had that distinction for less than three months back in 2017.

I remember the months that preceded Derek Carr’s contract extension back in 2017. There were plenty of opinions in my social circle. Some wanted him to take a hometown discount. Others (myself included) wanted him to ask for as much as he could. After all, it’s the team’s responsibility to manage to cap, not the players. On the other hand, there was a group that thought it wasn’t in the best interest of the Raiders to give him a new deal. Their logic was that nobody knew how he would recover from an injury he sustained the season before. Regardless of what fans thought, the quarterback ended up getting a five-year $125 million agreement.

In the end, it was a good contract for both Carr and the Raiders. The team didn’t break the bank and had salary cap flexibility. Meanwhile, Carr became the highest quarterback in the NFL. Alas, that only lasted 71 days. In September, 2017, the Lions give an even richer deal to Matthew Stafford. Less than eight months after Carr got his money, the 49ers gave Jimmy Garoppolo a deal that displaced both Stafford’s and Carr’s.

Recently, some on social media suggested Mahomes’ contract could hinder Kansas City’s ability to sign other players. I mean, they will have to work around the cap and will have to cut somebody here and there, but general manager Brett Veach has done a good job with the team’s finances. They will have to fit defensive tackle Chris Jones somehow, but I think they will find a way. Plus, those that said the Chiefs won’t be able to retain top players assume it will be Mahomes and 52 practice squad players.

Related: New Additions on Chargers Defense Should Concern Raiders

How Does it Affect the Raiders?

Mahomes’ deal doesn’t directly affect the Raiders, positively or negatively. Indirectly, it means the quarterback will face Las Vegas twice a year. Having said that, the Raiders can’t actively be thinking about what other teams are doing. They have to focus on what they do and what they have to do to become a winning franchise.

While defeating the Chiefs is a good goal to strive for, it should not be the Raiders’ main objective. That has to be winning a Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes certainly put Kansas City in a better position to contend for a championship on a constant basis and although his new deal might make it more difficult for them to keep their talent core intact, it isn’t impossible. That’s why it’s a bad idea to even consider it. Just like all quarterbacks before Mahomes, it won’t be long before others surpass him as the richest signal-caller in the league. That is exactly what happened to Carr, whose contract is the 14th highest in the NFL.

Speaking of Derek Carr’s contract, the Raiders have had enough flexibility to surround the quarterback with talented players. It’s time for him to show he’s worth it.

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*Top Photo: Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group

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