For a brief moment at the start of the offseason, it looked like there was a real chance Derek Carr could get traded by the Las Vegas Raiders. As time has passed, that now seems highly unlikely. In fact, Carr could be getting a new contract sooner than anybody expected.
More reports have emerged over the past few weeks that have shown the Raiders don’t have much of an interest in trading their starting quarterback. Longtime NFL insider Adam Caplan decided to drop the strongest report on Carr’s status with the team yet.
“Carr may end up getting his contract extended. That’s the belief around the league,” Caplan reported recently. “They do not want to trade [Carr]. I can tell you that is a fact.”
NFL: “Last year around this time, he was 100% available.” @caplannfl on the latest news with the Las Vegas Raiders regarding Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr.#NFLTwitter #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/Y87p011pQQ
— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) February 20, 2021
While some might be surprised that the Raiders reportedly want to keep Carr long-term, it makes sense. He’s coming off his best season and has only gotten better each year under Jon Gruden. Good quarterbacks are hard to come by and Las Vegas has one. Probably the fact that teams were interested in trading for him reaffirmed that for the Raiders.
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Marcus Mariota Is Available
Caplan also mentioned in the above clip that backup quarterback Marcus Mariota is available and there are teams that are interested. The Washington Football Team and New England Patriots have both been talked as potential landing spots for the former second-overall pick. However, interest might not be as strong as the Raiders would like.
When the team signed Mariota, they gave him a contract loaded with incentives. He could make up to $20 million next season on a good team. Even if the team’s bad but he starts in over 12 games, he’s going to make at least $18 million. Considering his injury history and struggles towards the end of his Tennessee Titans tenure, interested teams might not want to invest too heavily in the quarterback. If not, the Raiders may just have to cut him loose to add cap space.
Good Idea for Raiders to Extend Carr?
The Raiders still have Carr on a very team-friendly contract for the next two seasons. He’s slated to make over $22 million in 2021 but drops down to a little less than $20 million in 2022. Considering how quarterbacks are getting paid these days, that’s a steal for the team. That said, the price for quarterbacks increases every season. If the Raiders don’t pay Carr now, they might have to pay him more down the road.
It’s a tough situation to be in. Many fans still aren’t sold on the idea of Carr being the franchise quarterback. Until he leads the team to the playoffs, fans won’t change their minds. Extending Carr right now could be a bit premature. He’s locked up for two more seasons and the Raiders have much bigger problems to worry about. Giving Carr an extension wouldn’t be the worst move in the world. He’s still in his 20s, he’s getting better and played like a top-10 quarterback in 2020. Either way, the Raiders are in a good position right now.
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