The Derek Carr contract drama has been anything but dramatic. Neither Carr nor the Oakland Raiders are in a concerted hurry to get the deal done, and the quarterback has resolved that if the contract isn’t worked out by the start of training camp in late July, then they “won’t be talking about it” going into the season.
Despite a dearth of reported discussion between the sides, the expectation is that Carr and the Raiders will have to come to terms, and when they do it will be for record-setting money.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday on NFL Network’s Up to the Minute Live that, if and when the Raiders lock up their franchise QB, Carr could become the first quarterback to earn $25 million per year. Colts signal-caller Andrew Luck currently paces all QBs with a $24.6 million average salary.
Carr certainly ranks alongside Luck as one of the top young quarterbacks in the league and, unlike Luck, is the leader of one of the only AFC teams with enough firepower to contend with the Super Bowl champion Patriots. But there is still one thing standing in Carr’s way of eclipsing Luck’s contract number, and he plays in the NFC East.
A potential contract for the Redskins‘ franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins could completely rewrite the market for Carr, Rapoport reports. A long-term deal between Cousins and Washington would have to be worked out by the July 15 deadline for signing tendered players. If a Cousins contract was concocted by then, that would give Carr and the Raiders, Rapoport explains in this scenario, less than two weeks to negotiate a new deal and meet Carr’s self-imposed deadline. (The likelihood of this playing out is unknown at this time, but we’re saying there’s a chance.)
Either way, there is next to no doubt that Carr will eventually sign a long-term deal with the Raiders. It’s only a matter of when, and for how much.