Derek Carr

Should The Las Vegas Raiders Make 2023’s Derek Carr Payment?

On the heels of an embarrassing 24-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Las Vegas Raiders are 2-5 and once again sinking like a rudderless ship. In the offseason, Derek Carr received a generous contract extension and a raise. Has he earned it this season? Is he worth $34.87M in 2023, $43.87M in 2024, and $43.17M in 2025 in the coming seasons? This is the decision facing general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels.

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr at the halfway mark…

Offensively, the return on this offseason’s investment has to be one of the poorest yields in recent history. Much has been given to Carr, and quite frankly, he isn’t delivering. The excuses are freely flowing, but production is drying up faster than a mega drought. Let’s take a look at where Carr’s production ranks with the rest of the league.

Week QB Rating Completion % Time To Throw TT League Ranking Avg. Completed Air Yards
1. Chargers 69.1 59.5 2.76 19th 7.5
2. Cardinals 99.5 64.1 2.4 30th 4.2
3. Titans 85.7 59.1 2.88 10th 8.5
4. Broncos 76.6 61.8 2.52 24th 4.8
5. Chiefs 110.6 63.3 3.17 1st 6.9
6. BYE
7. Texans 116.2 77.8 3.19 1st 6
8. Saints 50.3 57.7 3.0 6th 1.1

From the outside looking in, if you focus on the numbers alone, they seem to be some decent numbers, until you add in the fact that the 19.3% times pressured per drop back is the lowest of Carr’s career. Despite having the least amount of pressure he’s seen in his career, Carr’s bad throw percentage of 18.3% is the highest it’s ever been. The 64.9% of on-target throws is the lowest it’s ever been as well. Furthermore, the numbers are indicative of the natural decline of Father Time. Certainly not up to snuff by his own standards.

The numbers don’t lie

Carr’s completion percentage is 62.9%, about 2% lower than his nine-year career average of 64.9%. His 2022 QB rating of 86.2 through the first eight weeks of the season is 21st in the league and nearly 6% down from his career average. At 231.6 passing yards per game, it is the second lowest average of his career.

On the season, Carr is averaging 2.82 seconds of pocket time, 13th-best in the league; whereas the 237 attempts are a modest 14th-most in the league and have resulted in only 1021 passing yards, the 13th-least in the league. In the last four games, Carr has thrown three touchdown passes. In the last two weeks, the defense has scored as many touchdowns as the offense has thrown.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

The new regime has made its commitments to the players it expects to keep around. The structure of Carr’s deal allows for the quarterback to be cut up to three days after the completion of the Super Bowl without a cap hit. A lesser-known fact is the number of head shots taken by Raiders pass catchers. Too many receivers are being lined up to get their heads knocked off. One thing Raider Nation should be happy about is the helmet-to-helmet rule, because without it, this season’s pass catchers would all be on concussion protocol.

$34.87 million is a steep price to pay for a quarterback who is currently ranked T-18th in passing touchdowns with Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow healthy. Carr has the rest of the season to pull a rabbit out of his hat and suddenly master this offense. He is not McDaniels’ guy, and there are some enticing options available in the draft.

Knee-Jerk Reactions After The Raiders’ Week 8 Loss

*Top Photo: USA Today

*Stats courtesy of and

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