Should Raiders QB Derek Carr Take A Team-Friendly Extension?

Derek Carr has had a tumultuous career with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, but his performance throughout the 2020-2021 NFL seasons has shifted winds towards talk of an extension. 

Carr has made it clear that he wants to spend his career with the Raiders and won’t be satisfied till he reaches the goal of winning a Super Bowl. For those of you that might not recall, Carr said as much during the offseason.

“I’d probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else. I’m a Raider for my entire life. And I’m going to root for one team for the rest of my life, and it’s the Raiders. I just feel that so strong in my heart. I don’t need a perfect situation, I believe that. …We can all agree if we were able to pull it off and win a championship here, that would feel much better than just piling a whole bunch of great players together and joining up and doing it that way.”

Carr via 8 News Now, Las Vegas

Deal Or No Deal?

The best-case scenario for everyone involved would be for Carr to take a team-friendly deal. The worst-case might would be Carr trying to match Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ contract. Fans have seen other teams pay their quarterbacks handsomely, hampering their ability to sign quality free agents and extend skill players vital to the team’s future. Carr was, at one time, the highest-paid quarterback in 2017, but the market quickly escalated with the contracts created for Josh Allen and Dak Prescott.

With Carr heading towards his fourth season of throwing for over 4,000 yards, I’m not suggesting that he is not entitled to a sizable contract competitive with the previously mentioned quarterbacks. However, there is an element those quarterbacks have on their resumes that Carr does not; a playoff appearance in the last four seasons. Carr has not reached the goal of a playoff appearance in his tenure. Unless you count the 2016 campaign where he got the team to that point. Unfortunately, fans will recall he was unable to participate due to an injury sustained in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Many contract extensions are looming…

Rising stars within the organization are reaching the point where they are expecting extensions, and deservedly so. The list will include Maxx Crosby, Trayvon Mullen, Josh Jacobs, Alec Ingold, and possibly, Darren Waller.

With the current cap situations in the league, it might not be sustainable to sign all those players. Not to mentioned other free agents that the Raiders should hold onto, and pay Carr a league-leading contract extension. The way around this is to follow the “Tom Brady Model” as far as contracts go.

Yes, Tom Brady.

Tom Brady was well known for taking team-friendly deals during his historic time with the New England Patriots. He routinely made approximately half of what other star quarterbacks were making at the time. It should be noted that Brady continued to accept these deals after winning Super Bowls to keep star players available and on the roster. That is how winning teams stay together. We are currently seeing this with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; they returned all 22 starters from the 2020 Super Bowl team, and stars such as Mike Evans took pay cuts or converted their salaries into signing bonuses to assist the team in re-signing starters.

Carr’s $125 million deal runs out after the 2022 season, and he becomes a free agent in 2023. While several other teams would likely attempt to sign Carr at his current production, the Raiders should approach Carr with a generous but team-friendly contract.

If Carr wants to stay a Raider for his entire career, he will need the correct pieces around him to reach that final goal of winning a Super Bowl. If he wants to be the highest-paid quarterback in the league, he likely will not, and should not, get it in Las Vegas.

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*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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1 thought on “Should Raiders QB Derek Carr Take A Team-Friendly Extension?”

  1. I think he should take a team-friendly deal. Why? He was already the highest paid player in NFL history (for about 20 minutes anyway). I’m reasonably sure that deal was heavily backloaded, so he should be fine. Plus, it’s happened too often: teams break the bank to pay one player, then don’t have the funds to keep or build a team around him. With his determination to take the Raiders to a Championship, I don’t see that he has any choice if he’s serious about that.

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