Raiders could be planning to squat on Derek Carr, for now

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The Raiders have 16 days to figure out a potential trade for quarterback Derek Carr before $40.4 million in future compensation becomes fully guaranteed. So why haven’t they given Carr permission to try to find a suitor?

Here’s the problem. The Raiders likely fear that those discussions would result in a wink-nod understanding that Carr will tell the Raiders he won’t waive his no-trade clause, forcing a release — and then allowing him to get more than the new team would be willing to pay, if it has to also compensate the Raiders.

From Carr’s perspective, it’s better to be cut than traded. He picks his destination, he maximizes his compensation, and his new team can pay him more because it didn’t have to send a draft pick or two to his old team.

The Raiders are smart enough to realize this. Thus, the goal for now seems to be keeping Carr from finding out what’s behind Door No. 2. The more he knows about what other teams will or won’t do, the more likely he realizes that his best play would be to fold his arms and refuse to cooperate.

Then there’s this possibility. The Raiders, in lieu of cutting him, will keep him. And keep him. And keep him, until they get the deal they want.

It would be similar to what the Browns did with Baker Mayfield. Yes, he had a $19.9 million salary for 2022. But he had nowhere to play. And the longer it played out, the harder it would be for him to get ready for the regular season.

Eventually, he gave up $4.6 million, and the Browns saved $9.4 million.

The Raiders actually could benefit from sitting on Carr until after the upcoming game of veteran quarterback musical chairs ends. Assuming that at least one quarterback-needy team doesn’t get the guy it wants, the Raiders will operate from a position of strength.

If, in contract, they hustle to strike a deal for Carr before February 15, they’ll be operating from a position of weakness.

If that’s what the Raiders are doing, it’s quite a gamble. A $40.4 million gamble, more than twice the $19.9 million the Browns gambled with.

Carr could just say, “Fine. I’ll show up for practice and games and collect your checks and not play.” They can’t lock him out, if he wants to be there.

But the Raiders could be banking on Carr desperately not wanting to be there, and also desperately wanting to be elsewhere. That’s the way to get him to trim enough of that $40.4 million to facilitate a trade — even if the Raiders end up paying some of it.

It’s far better than paying all of it.

79 responses to “Raiders could be planning to squat on Derek Carr, for now

  1. Flawed logic. First no one will pay Carr more than $40 million
    And Carr will want to play, not gamble on not playing

  2. The Browns paid Baker to go to Carolina-was that a win for them? And his contract was much smaller than Carr. Other teams know they have the leverage today tomorrow or later in the off season as more and more teams solidfy their choice at QB through free agency, trades and the draft. Not a secret the Raiders don’t want Carr.

  3. Best part is the raiders have like 28 players going into FA and will literally be fielding a completely different team next year and his money on the books makes it quite the task to get the players they want. My only hope is hes around on the roster next year like Garapaolo was and Raiders start 0-4 and Mcdaniels n crew get the boot and he can retake his job back.

  4. I hope he sticks it to them for the full 40M

    Completely agree
    He has been a team first guy all along. He is a middle 20 QB, but much better than most teams have

  5. Does a cash-strapped team like the Raiders want to pay $15MM for a draft pick? I don’t think so. Baker had an already guaranteed contract so there was nothing to lose. This isn’t the same situation and if would be REALLY stupid for Carr to be a Raider 17 days from now.

  6. Completely agree
    He has been a team first guy all along. He is a middle 20 QB, but much better than most teams have


    There are only 32 NFL teams, if he’s “middle 20”, how can he be better than what most teams have?

  7. Well, whatever happens I know I can count on my Raiders to screw it up. Virtually undefeated in that category, SMH.

  8. Or just cut him now. Take the $5.6m cap hit for 2023 ($3.8M in 2024 and $1.875M in 2025) and more on. What is he actually worth from a draft pick perspective? Furthermore, with the way the Raiders have drafted it’s a wasted pick anyway! DUMPSTER FIRE!!!

  9. That’s a lot “if’s” for the Raiders to be gambling on. So far, the Raiders hasn’t shown anything that they are being saavy. Quite the opposite in that they haven’t thought anything out.

  10. I can’t imagine there are many teams that see Derek Carr as a clear upgrade over what they already have.

  11. If I was Carr I’d stand pat, show up at camp ready for work, ride the pine all season, and collect my $40M.

  12. I’m sick of people who don’t understand the cap. The $40 mil figure is not for this year. $7.5 mil is for 2024. The cap hit for ‘23 is $32 mil, if a team trades for him and they don’t re-do his deal. There will be many teams willing to give him something similar.

  13. Carr is in Thailand with Klingsberry as we speak. Carr isn’t taking any of the Raiders calls .

  14. Assuming Carr is an honest man his only choices are start with the raiders or retire

  15. Nope. Raiders are already having problems with the salary cap, and they might have to franchise tag Jacobs AND need to sign a new QB. Unless, of course, you think resigning free agent Stidham is the solution. 😁

  16. Nope I would refuse all trades it is in his contract. Then have them cut him and get his freedom. He played for that disfunctional franchise a long time he should have plenty cash. Pick your team and see how the other franchises work.

  17. Jimmy Haslam has money to burn (and does). Davis doesn’t want to eat $40+ million. They will work something out.

  18. Carr holds all the cards… use your leverage and make them cut you, show up and be a pro! They will cut you with the guaranteed money or without, but if you waiver and and waive the close you lose ALL leverage! Be smart Derek

  19. If they do that, the Raiders will be being money-wise and wins-foolish.
    And I realize they may do it anyway.

  20. Carr is a good QB, a great PR player, but not one to take you to a Super Bowl. He will not get what he thinks he will get. Raiders made a decision and it was the right decision, but don’t do Carr dirty because Carr laid it out there through the years of bad coaching changes, the Gruden saga, Ruggs saga, and Bisaccia and McDaniels hires. You knew who he was all these years and now you want to be shrewd with him when he had your back the whole time.

  21. Great way to do business, Oakland. Show free agents that you play firm but fair with their livelihoods.

  22. An above average QB is $30+M……Carr is clearly above average. He’s going to get that amount, going forward & he should make an agreement with the Raiders to restructure his contract to allow him to negotiate with other teams to find a trading partner of his choosing.

  23. I see Carr as a top 10 QB, if not better. The problem this year has been the coaching, which has been abysmal. How “OC” Lombardi still has his job as a first time OC is beyond any comprehension.

    Who are the Raiders going to get as QB? Brady? Rodgers? Ryan? Jimmy G? Mayfield? Jackson? Draft? The Raiders need OL and defense, not QB.

  24. Surely Carr’s agent is burning up the phone looking for that wink and a nod deal. Remember it’s not tampering if they keep their traps shut..

  25. Maybe the niners can pick him up cheap as a fifth QB who aint in uniform on the most important game of the year.

  26. Carr holds all the cards.
    1 Unlike Mayfield hes a well known quantity. He might not be great but everyone knows hes competent.
    2 40 million isnt 20 million. It makes much more sense for him to just take the money if the Raiders pick up his contract.
    3 No one is going to trade for a 40 million QB unless the QB is happy about it.

  27. It’s a possibility, but not necessarily one I would take in their place. They want him to leave more than he wants to not play for them. Best they just up and cut him. Sure they could get a first round pick or two if they find a willing trade partner, but that would require Carr to cooperate, and he has no reason to do so. If they want to get a fresh start, just let him walk move on.

  28. I’m a Chiefs fan so I’m not a member of the Raider nation. That being said Carr deserves to be treated fairly and if Mark David wants to play games with Carrs livelihood I hope he sticks it to him and his bowl cut

  29. Gruden pared the team down and set it back. How is Carr supposed to win after losing Mack & Cooper as teammates and a team reset.

  30. This is one of those times when players around the league watch to see how the team treats a player. Lets not forget it’s the Raiders who are giving up on Carr, not the other way around. If the Raiders play nasty with him other players will see that and take note. How many top free agents are going to be eager to sign with a team that treats their players poorly? It’s all about culture and respect. Some of your better teams have it…say the Niners, Chiefs, Seahawks, to name a few. Really good culture breeds winning and players that want to play for that kind of culture.

  31. The guys running the Raiders will most likely do whatever benefits them in the short term, rather than whatever is in the team’s best interest long term. A different regime might be the beneficiary of any long term plans. These guys took over a playoff team and badly regressed. Time is not on their side.

  32. They can’t lock him out, if he wants to be there.

    Technically they can. The owners locked out every player as recently as 2011

  33. Two things here. One why would the Raiders play hardball with a player who has played their whole career for them and been a drum banger for any coach or GM they’ve brought in? Seems like he’s done everything that’s asked of a good teammate and franchise QB. Second, the Raiders don’t really have another option right now at the position. Unless they’re willing to take the chance with a rookie or take a chance for a guy in FA. Carr holds all the cards here.

  34. I would rather have Carr than Dak anyday! Carr has dealt with a lot of disfunction and injuries to key players. Dak has been with Dallas for 7 years, Carr with the Raiders for 9. The salary numbers match, the Raiders need a QB, so do the Cowboys. Raiders – you’re in Vegas, take a gamble and make the trade.

  35. You act as if the Raiders know what they are doing…..I can’t stop laughing right now

  36. Just cut him and move on. Trying to stretch this out will not end well for the Raiders.

  37. Time to move on.
    Also, enough with David Carr nonsense. Guy shouldn’t be an analyst he’s so biased and childlike.

  38. Not a good look for the NFL to have a billionaire owner whose family leveraged several local and state government to make financial concessions and funding to cover stadium operating and development costs to hold a player they don’t want hostage for ransom.

    Ironic that a team known for wasting draft picks would confirm for players and agents that they don’t negotiate in good faith while holding a huge amount of salary cap in abeyance instead of using it to build a winning roster.

    Woody Johnson held Tim Tebow hostage when it was clear he would not be a New York Jet and no team would pay his contract never mind trade for him. Johnson feared the Patriots would get him on the cheap and use him effectively.

    Compare and contrast how Kraft let Asante Samuel and Tom Brady walk by assuring free agency and giving up any right to franchise in their last contract. To this day Samuel resents the Patriots for not paying his price and Tom’s competitiveness was put in high gear by the shock that the team would actually let him walk. For guys willing to bet on themselves, that treatment is certainly more welcome than being held hostage.

  39. Vikes fan here. It stinks having Kirk cousins as your teams QB. Derek Carr is the slightly worse version of him. It’s QB purgatory.

  40. Seems like this analysis is missing something: The Raiders are currently without a QB. Are they planning to sit on Carr while paying him $40M to not play? Where is the money for the new QB coming from?

    Surely you don’t think they’re gonna pull a Shanahan and mortgage the future to trade up in the draft?

  41. Or maybe they are starting to see that Derek wasnt the real problem. How a play caller goes full Coach Cline (waterboy) in 5-6 2nd halves like McD did might just be an issue. Ive also heard/read that McD was MAD that Derek changed some of the plays in that Seahawks game, the one that they won.

  42. No one is trading for Carr with that salary. They’d be lucky to get a 3rd round pick and have to pay $20m of that salary. If the Raiders are done with him, then cut him and move on.

  43. What a load of rubbish!
    No one is trading for Carr, he knows it and the Raiders know it.
    They don’t need to cut him for 15 days, so why should they, the decision has been made

  44. redright8167 says:
    January 30, 2023 at 8:58 pm
    I hope he sticks it to them for the full 40M

    Completely agree
    He has been a team first guy all along. He is a middle 20 QB, but much better than most teams have


    I also love the guy, but that doesn’t mean you hold onto a mediocre QB who will never take you to the playoffs on a regular basis. So many other teams are able to be consistent, that is what the Raiders need. I’ll take a consistent winning QB over a nice guy any day. 20 years is way too long to put up with this mediocrity.

  45. I hope he sticks it to them, there’s no reason not to. The Raiders started this for their own benefit, not his.

  46. Typical of the Raiders org. A complete trash heap franchise always doing the wrong thing, Even moving 2-3 times and screwing the fan base. I hope he gets all the money he can from them.

  47. The way the Browns handled Mayfield was just an exercise in incompetence. The Raiders have put themselves in a tough spot, but keep Carr and having that $40 million guarantee in place sure seems like they’re just losing any kind of leverage they may have. If this all comes down to “Hey, Derek, we’re going to hold onto you and pay you $40 million dollars unless you agree to take less”, then I don’t see that as a very strong bargaining position for the team.

  48. What do you expect from the Raider. They hired a coach is is failing for the second time and have an owner who is only there because of his father being Al Davis.
    Blame Derek Carr for the fact that this team blew 5 games where they were ahead by 14 points or more and the defense lost the game. I guess that is easier to do then to blame Josh McDaniels who they hired instead of keeping Rich Bisaccia as head coach after he had done one of the best jobs that we have ever seen from an interim head coach.
    People are mad about Steve Wilks not getting the job in Carolina, well why didn’t they get as mad at Rich Bisaccia getting screwed.Now they try to screw Carr
    The Raider will stink next year as well

  49. Wasn’t more than just a few years ago that the Lions fans were throwing Stafford under the bus. Apparently he wasn’t the problem in Detroit. Put a good team in front of Carr and not that dumpster fire of an organization and he may just win it all too. That management team and coaching staff over the past few years has been horrific. Who hires Mike Mayock to be a GM. Only the Raiders. Then they throw Chucky under the bus. Raiders get what they deserve!!!

  50. There are only 32 NFL teams, if he’s “middle 20”, how can he be better than what most teams have?

    That was poorly worded, my bad.

  51. The Browns already had their next QB and had the cap space to squeeze both of them in this year. The Raiders do not have either luxury. On top of that, I think the Bowl-Cut owner is actually a decent/loyal guy and will probably allow Carr to do what’s best for him, even if McDaniels would prefer to use all of his leverage, loyalty be damned.

  52. Carr isn’t worthless…but he’s also not worth 40 mil a year PLUS a premium draft pick. At best, it’s one or the other. If the Raiders want to pay his salary, then fine, I would give up a high pick as a QB needy team. Otherwise dream on. Not to mention he has a no trade so the Raiders really have no leverage. All Carr has to say is no thanks and their hands are tied.

  53. I see people saying Carr is a “good” or “above average” QB. He’s 63-79 and 0-1 in the playoffs.

    His SALARY under the contract that kicks in is almost $33 million for 2023 and it goes up to almost $43 mil for 2024-25.

    So all you owners out there which one of you thinks it is good business to trade for (so you are giving up high draft picks) a QB (regardless of his name) who costs you $121+ mil over the next 3 years with no playoff wins and an overall .444 game winning percentage?

    The BEST thing for the Raiders to do is just cut him and take the cap hit. Funny that is also the best thing for any team interested in him because then they don’t lose any draft picks nor have to pay him that ridiculous amount of money.

    Either he’s a Raider in 2023 or he gets cut in 16 days… NO ONE is going to trade for him.

  54. They only have 11.2 mil in cap space with Carr on the roster. 40+ if they cut him. They can’t afford to not release him. This is really stupid to be playing around with this when they have so many holes on that roster to fill.

  55. They’ll be forced to cut him. No one will trade for that salary knowing the Raiders don’t want to keep him.

  56. The biggest question is why would the Raiders do anything but sit tight right now? They don’t have to do anything but wait for the date to get closer and closer. Letting Carr work on a trade right now would do nothing but diminish the value for the Raiders.

    Sit. Wait. Someone is getting itchy thinking they will miss out. If they don’t you just cut him and move on. Sitting tight is maximizing Carrs trade value.

  57. This article assumes the Raiders are smart negotiators who have the pulse of the market and aren’t prone to illogical impulsive moves. It’s going to be fun when it all settles out, Carr is gone, but whoever they replaced him with still doesn’t look good.

  58. Somebody explain to me why in the Hell would Carr agree to help the Raiders out at all? He hold all the cards. Davis is not gambling $40 million and every GM knows it. Carr has a no trade. Why on Earth would he waive it?

  59. Raiders Management: “We squashed the value of our QB for no reason through news outlets and can’t get any value for him now”

  60. Would say the Raiders are making a bad decision but there is always the Jets and Woody to make an even worse decision. And a honorable mention to Carolina and Tepper who are trying to out do the rest to become the new-guard for making very bad decisions.

  61. You reap what you sow- Carr should played better , and he wouldn’t be in this situation. The raiders did the right thing. Gave him an opportunity and he didn’t excel. Let him go to a dome team that plays warm weather teams.

  62. So here is the big question. Who can they sign that’s better? Jimmy G? Seriously who is out there that’s better?

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