Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said he doesn’t care that his $25 million per year deal will be quickly surpassed by a handful of NFL quarterbacks with expiring contracts looking to top the market.
His main concerns? Take care of his team and his family. Both of those are now complete.
Carr confirmed on Friday during a post-signing press conference that his deal was structured in order to help the Raiders ink other superstars. Khalil Mack, quite possibly the best defensive player in the league, will most likely be next along with guard Gabe Jackson. Mack is entering the final year of his rookie deal with a fifth-year option season coming in 2018. Mack will undoubtedly top the market for all defensive players, with Von Miller‘s six-year, $114.5 million deal ($19,083,333 per year with $70 million in practical guarantees) serving as a baseline. Jackson, a former third-round pick, is entering the final year of his deal.
“We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization,” Carr said. “That was really important to me. Not to just take every single dime that we could. I hope that that’s known. Obviously, the position that I play, it has to be around a certain number. It just is what it is. At the same time, I told (my agent), if we can structure it in a way to help the Raiders get the other guys, give them an opportunity to come in, that that would be really important to me too.”
Asked practically how that will work, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was vague.
“The bottom line is, we’re able to move forward to keep all the players we need to keep in the correct timing. This affords us to do that. We’ll start on that ASAP.”
As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted, Carr’s contract was backloaded, which could end up working out for both the Raiders and Carr. In the near future, Mack can get paid and down the line, Carr can have a larger portion of his money while the team is in Nevada — a state with no state-level tax.
Carr can now go back to work knowing that there are no lingering issues heading into training camp. As Rapoport noted, Matthew Stafford could sign his new deal before the season starts. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins could also begin navigating those waters.
For Carr, it will all be background noise.
“I don’t care if they all do, we got our contract done, that’s all that matters to me,” Carr said. “The only thing that was important to me — we weren’t going to worry about what other people were doing or have done. I just wanted to get mine done and, like we talked about, make sure the team had the flexibility to make sure my friends stay around.”