Many have rolled their eyes whenever quarterback Derek Carr has said he intends to play for the Raiders for the entirety of his career, and that if the Raiders ever move on from Carr, Carr will move on from football.
The eye rolling was justified.
Now that the Raiders plan to move on from Carr, Carr does not intend to quit playing.
That nugget of not-really-news (but given his past comments it is) lurks within an item from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that focuses on the fact that the Raiders will attempt to arrange a trade for Carr before $40.4 million in injury guarantees vest on the third day of the waiver period, which starts the day after the Super Bowl.
As explained before, trades can’t officially happen until the first day of the league year in March. As also explained before, either team can pull the plug on any unofficial trade before both teams communicate the trade to the league office once the league year begins. With no consequence. No penalty. And no cause for legitimate complaint.
Thus, if the Raiders line up a trade for Carr before the $40.4 million vests, owner Mark Davis will have to go to bed every night for roughly five weeks worrying that he’ll wake up to news that the other team has done to Josh McDaniels the exact same thing McDaniels did to the Colts five years ago.
Would Davis be comfortable tying $40.4 million to not being screwed by another team? Would he want to deal with five weeks of worrying about getting stuck with Carr when Davis and the Raiders have decided to move on?
Then there’s the reality, as Peter King mentioned on Friday’s PFT Live, that a new team likely won’t want to absorb the current Carr contract without a restructuring or an extension. Beyond the $40.4 million in full guarantees, the deal pays out a total of $116.2 million over three years. That’s an average salary of $38.7 million, with Carr committed only through 2025.
Carr also has plenty of power here. He has the contractual right to veto any trade. He also may have no inclination to help the Raiders get value for him. Whatever a team surrenders by way of players and/or draft picks reduces the money the team would otherwise pay to Carr if he were on the open market.
On the open market, Carr can make himself available to any team. To every team. All the teams mentioned here. With a six-week head start on free agency.
Sure, the Raiders can try to trade Carr. But the guy who blocks people at will on Twitter should have zero qualms about blocking the ability of the Raiders to do it. It’s a basic business decision, and it’s the best business decision he can make, given the circumstances that the Raiders have created, not him.
Past comments notwithstanding, Derek Carr won’t be retiring originally appeared on Pro Football Talk