The Derek Carr and New Orleans Saints trade was alive and well; until it wasn’t.
It’s no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders are moving on from nine-year quarterback Derek Carr. This isn’t a one-way street, though; Carr has already moved on from the Raiders himself.
In order to prevent $40.4 million of Carr’s contract from becoming guaranteed on the Raiders’ books, Las Vegas must officially part ways with their quarterback by tomorrow afternoon. A trade with the Saints for Carr seemed all but certain a handful of days ago, but the 31-year-old has elected to keep his no-trade clause in place. Carr has begun singing a different tune and is unwilling to let this trade happen.
Why is that, though?
For many of Raider Nation, the thought process is Carr is taking “revenge” on the Silver and Black. Las Vegas’ new regime ended the “Derek Carr experiment” 16 weeks into the team’s ’22 campaign, and Carr’s unwillingness to lift his no-trade clause in a deal with the Saints is taken as “sticking it to the Raiders”. However, this isn’t true.
Here’s what’s what.
The Carr, Saints trade wasn’t blown dead due to “revenge“
Last week, when touching on how [Josh] McDaniels likely wasn’t all-in on Tom Brady due to various reasons, including frequent disagreements and spats on the sideline over the years, I made sure to note the professionalism of both McDaniels and Brady. The two have the utmost respect for each other, but having respect for an individual doesn’t automatically mean you work in harmony with them.
That same sentiment can be translated to McDaniels and Derek Carr.
While it’s true the pair didn’t work out, it’s also true the two men have a great deal of respect for one another. Both McDaniels and Dave Ziegler were originally all-in on Carr for a reason, after all.
Even after his shelving ahead of Week 17, Carr had nothing negative to say about his [soon-to-be former] head coach. Likewise, McDaniels continued speaking high of the veteran signal caller after the move, continuously reflecting on the difficulty of it all.
Although some outside parties might’ve been overcome by emotion on such a transition, both McDaniels and Carr remained high-spirited and high-classed.
Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. What’s the real reason the trade fell through? The money wasn’t right in Carr’s eyes.
Saints deal with Raiders falls through due to talks of pay-cut
In order for Carr to be granted permission by the Raiders’ organization to speak with another team, a team must first agree to be willing to give the Raiders what they feel Carr’s value is – not to be confused with having an exact trade ready to go, but confirmation that a team is in fact willing to meet Las Vegas’ wants.
Carr spent two days speaking with Saints’ personnel to see if the fit was right. That was due to New Orleans’ willingness to meet the desired compensation for the quarterback. Right when a deal with the Saints seemed like a sure-fired thing, Carr announced his unwillingness to lift his no-trade clause. This left the trade dead in the water, with no chance of revival.
Why would Carr suddenly be against this trade after everything was going great? It’s simple; the money didn’t make sense in his eyes.
Yes, Carr’s contract would stay intact in the event of a trade. However, New Orleans was budging the quarterback to take a pay-cut, a source told the Associated Press. Had it not been for this, a trade would’ve likely already transpired, with both parties giving a sigh of relief.
There’s no revenge here, but there is still a crucial decision to make.
*Top photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press