NFL free agency opens Thursday – and soon after, it’s expected that Derek Carr will become one of the highest-paid players in the league.
Don’t worry, Oakland Raiders fans – Carr doesn’t plan on going anywhere. He’s not even a free agent.
But Carr is headed into the final year of his first pro deal, and it sounds like the Raiders don’t want him to hit the market after next season. Leading NFL analysts predict that will happen with a big payoff for the Raiders’ signal caller from Fresno State.
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When I got drafted this is where I wanted to be.
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr telling SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Schein on Sports with Adam Schein last week
“They know how I feel,” Carr told SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio’s “Schein on Sports” with Adam Schein last week. “I’m a Raider. I’m a Raider for life. I don’t want to play anywhere else. When I got drafted this is where I wanted to be anyway. I don’t want to go anywhere … ever. And they know that.”
It’s expected that Carr, 25, will get paid more than Andrew Luck. Last season, the Indianapolis Colts signed Luck to a five-year, $123 million deal, including a $32 million signing bonus, of which $87 million is guaranteed with an average annual salary of $24.6 million.
Spotrac’s calculations suggest Carr’s market value is six years for $137 million with an average annual salary of $22.9 million.
Former sports agent Joel Corry, who is a salary cap expert for National Football Post and CBS Sports, says Carr could exceed those figures because of how he helped the Raiders to a 12-4 record and a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Derek Carr is a $25 million per-year player.
Former NFL sports agent Joel Corry, now a salary cap expert for National Football Post and CBS Sports
“A guy who was a legitimate MVP candidate,” Corry says. “Got the Raiders to their first playoff berth. May have increased his value because they collapsed without him. This deal, when it gets done, it’s going to be more than Andrew Luck. Derek Carr is a $25 million per-year player.”
Carr’s season was cut short because of a right fibula injury he sustained against the Colts in a Christmas Eve victory. Carr is making a full recovery and should be ready for the Raiders’ offseason program that begins in late May.
Carr is on a four-year, $5.37 million deal that he signed after he was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft. He got a $2.2 million signing bonus, $3.3 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $1.3 million. If Carr doesn’t sign an extension he will earn a base salary of $977,519, a roster bonus of $150,000 and a workout bonus of $25,000 in 2017.
Carr says he will leave it up to his agent Tim Younger and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie to come up with a satisfying deal.
How long have the Raiders and Younger been talking? Carr shed some light on that.
“They’ve been talking through the season,” he said on Schein’s show. “Just a bit of line of communication. Now that it’s getting more down to the line and getting serious they’re just trying to figure out a way to make it done. If we can do that, great. If not, I can assure you I’m just going to be out there and play football and not thinking about it.”
In 2016, Carr completed 357 of 560 passes for 3,937 yards and 28 touchdowns against six interceptions. He tied for third in balloting for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award and won the Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Year honor.
I just want to play ball and I want to wear the Silver and Black jersey.
Mack a focus, too
Pro Football Post’s Corry says any deal the Raiders make with Carr won’t affect their plans for NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.
“Mack already has a ton of leverage,” Corry says. “When he signs, it’s going to exceed Von Miller,” the MVP of Super Bowl 50 for the Denver Broncos.
Corry predicts Mack will become the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, topping Miller’s six-year, $114.5 million deal. And that would leave the Raiders with a lot of salary devoted to two players.
“They’re going to have a $20 million premier defensive player and $25 million quarterback,” Corry says. “Teams don’t have that and they’re going to have to work around it, but they’re in good enough shape to do that.”
The NFL salary cap is set at $167 million per team. The Raiders’ salary cap room is estimated to be at $43 million.
Mack has a fifth-year option, so securing Carr’s long-term service is certainly the bigger priority now for the Raiders.
“I just want to play ball and I want to wear the Silver and Black jersey,” Carr told Schein. “I’ll let them handle it and I’ll just focus on winning games with my teammates.”
Andrew Luck, Colts
Drew Brees, Saints
Kirk Cousins, Redskins
Joe Flacco, Ravens
Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Carson Palmer, Cardinals
El Manning, Giants
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Cam Newton, Panthers
Matt Ryan, Falcons
Tom Brady, Patriots