There’s a disconnect between Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and quarterback Derek Carr as to whether an issue exists regarding the effort level of the team’s players. With owner Mark Davis, unlike the vast majority of the fan base, firmly backing McDaniels, the question becomes whether Carr will be the one who’s gone, if McDaniels isn’t.
Remember when Carr got a new contract earlier this year? It was a much-hyped $40.5 million per year deal that, in reality, pays him $24.9 million for one season with a quick and easy out for the team after 2022.
The Raiders would have to cut Carr (if he’s healthy) by the third day of the 2023 waiver period — the week after the Super Bowl. It prevents the Raiders from trading him before another $40.4 million becomes fully guaranteed.
It’s also regarded as bad form to cut a player based on guarantees that vest in the early days of the waiver period. Usually, that trigger is incorporated to avoid the funding rule, and not as a moment for moving on and/or moving out.
Still, the Raiders and McDaniels will have every right to do it. And it would give Carr a ticket to free agency, more than a month before free agency opens.
This isn’t a report or a prediction that it will happen. The point is that, within days after the next Super Bowl, the Raiders will have to decide whether to renew their vows with Carr or cut him loose. Given the team’s current situation, it’s hard to imagine both McDaniels and Carr back next year.