Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is now the highest paid quarterback in league history. Sort of.
Under the so-called “new money” analysis, Carr’s five-year, $125 million extension has a value of $25 million, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. That trumps the $24.769 million new-money average received a year ago by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck by a mere $271,000.
Based on total value at signing, Luck’s deal is technically better. He inked a six-year, $140 million deal. Carr will make $126.127 million over six years. That happened because Luck did his deal after playing four years, trading in the fifth-year option of $16.155 million for his new contract. Carr, a second-round pick, received his new deal a year earlier, with only $1.127 million still due in what would have been the fourth and final year of his deal.
The basic numbers of the deal represent the starting point, not the ending point, of the analysis. Three years ago, the agents leaked (and the info robots lapped up) a load of crap regarding the Colin Kaepernick contract. Be wary of any further information about the value of the deal until the real numbers are filed with the league and the union.
The most important questions as to this specific contract will be the signing bonus, the fully guaranteed money at signing, and (since true franchise quarterbacks tend to not get cut or squeezed to take less) the cash flow on the back end of the deal. Since the contract was reported as a lump sum, it appears Carr did not come the first player to receive protection against ongoing cap spikes in the form of a set percentage of the salary cap in future years.
Also relevant to Carr will be the payments pushed to 2019, when he likely will be moving from a state with obscenely high personal income tax to Nevada, which has none.
There’s no question that Carr has received an extremely significant financial reward. The full significance as to Carr, and as to other quarterbacks who will be trying to push the $25-million-per-year-in-new-money bar even higher, remains to be seen.