The NFL’s richest man now resides in Oakland.

The Raiders on Thursday signed Derek Carr to a five-year, $125 million extension with $40 million fully guaranteed, $70 million in total guarantees and a $12.5 million signing bonus, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, citing sources familiar with the deal. The deal has elevated Carr over Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck as the league’s highest paid player in terms of average money per year.


The 26-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler was a leading candidate in the 2016 MVP race before breaking his leg on Christmas Eve. So far, Carr has thrown for 11,194 yards, 81 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in three seasons. All along, Carr and the Raiders had viewed the time between the draft and training camp as the ideal window to hammer out an extension.

Carr was rounding out his rookie contract, and was initially due less than $1 million in base salary this year.

The NFL may now see a windfall of quarterback deals that could include Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins in Washington. Carr’s deal provided an ideal launching pad for player agents looking to create the framework of new extensions. With each passing cycle, no quarterback wants to be viewed as second-best.

For Oakland, the move is encouraging but is a sign of work to come. Carr is just one of many dominoes in play for general manager Reggie McKenzie, who now must figure out how to retain Khalil Mack. Quite possibly the best defensive player in football, Mack is under contract through 2018 thanks to the club option. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is on the distant horizon, while standout guard Gabe Jackson is making his case for something in the near future in a market that has become very expensive of late.

Despite a little minor squabbling from both sides, this was always a deal that would get done. The Raiders could not risk eventually fleeing Oakland for a new, experimental NFL market without the promise of an established star at quarterback. Backing into Vegas without Carr would have been a death sentence for a club hoping to establish an entirely different fan base.

McKenzie rightfully won an executive of the year award for his ability to put together a team many believe could contend for the Super Bowl in 2017 if Carr remains healthy. Of course, constructing the team was the easy part. Keeping it together, as we’ve seen already with Carr’s massive deal, is the difficult part.

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