Back when the Raiders seemed to be shedding any and all of their key players, we pointed out that quarterback Derek Carr‘s $19.9 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 waiver period. That day is today.
The Raiders can avoid that obligation only by cutting him, and they undoubtedly won’t. For three important reasons.
First, they apparently still want him for 2019. Although some believe the Raiders will use one of their three first-round picks on a quarterback, that doesn’t mean the Raiders will move on from Carr this year. He’s the guy, at least for another year.
Second, they could still trade him. With a total compensation package of $20 million for this season and a total package for the following three seasons of $58.5 million ($19.5 million per year), other teams could be very interested in a contract that is very favorable in light of the current market. With only $7.5 million in dead money left on his deal, it would be easy for the Raiders to eat the cap charge and move on, if another team wants to trade for Carr.
Third, cutting Carr would violate the convention that relates to the triggers for full guarantees. The rule of thumb among teams and agents is that, when a salary becomes fully guaranteed in the days after the opening of the waiver period, the player will not be cut. When the guarantee fully vests based on the start of the new league year in March, cutting the player is fair game.
Bottom line? Unless he’s cut today (and he won’t be), Carr will make $20 million this year. Whether he makes that money from the Raiders or another team remains to be seen.