The Oakland Raiders are playing with fire here. Derek Carr is looking for an extension and the Raiders, for some strange reason are dragging their feet. Carr has hopes that it will be done before Training Camp starts but what happens if it’s not? Could this be another case of a team playing “chicken” with their star QB? Look at the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins. The Raiders must do whatever they have to do to make certain this is not a repeat situation.
Carr led the Raiders to their first playoff berth since 2002 as he accumulated 3937 yards, 28 touchdowns, six interceptions and a completion percentage of 64%. Carr has only been in the league for three seasons but he has improved each year. 2016 was the coming out party and in-between his successful run, management should’ve had a deal ready to be signed.
Did they not learn anything from watching the Redskins and Cousins?
The Redskins played around with Cousins contract after he had his best year in 2015 while leading the Redskins to the NFC East title and the playoffs. However, instead of signing him long-term they tagged him, then the team regressed in 2016. How was Cousins rewarded? You guessed it, still looking for that deal.
This is the pitfall the Raiders must avoid.
While the Redskins have entertained trade request for Cousins, the Raiders will be foolish to do the same for Carr. The Raiders are a team that was built from the ground up, just for this reason. Their talent level is far beyond that of the Redskins and if not for the injury to Carr at the end of the regular season, Oakland residents may be still celebrating a Super Bowl victory.
So what’s the holdup? Could it be the injury? Possibly but injuries happen all the time. It can’t be his play on the field as the Raiders were one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL last season with Carr under center. What this boils down to is the Raiders must be nervous about success. It’s been a while for them and a long-term deal shows where the franchise is heading towards. If they wish to continue to be mentioned as annual SB contenders then they must play and pay like one.
How many teams are in constant trade talks involving a game changer at the most important position in sports?
Carr is currently making $1.3M+ (with incentives) but a long-term deal will place him in the range of $22M per year and that puts him in the same company as Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. Is Carr worth that? Yes is he. He’s not only the face of the Raiders franchise but could very well be one of the NFL’s marquee players.
Much like Cousins, he has paid his dues, played for the cheap and now he awaits as his employers decide his fate. The Raiders cannot afford to wait around as Carr will be free to test the waters next season and if that happens they will only have themselves to blame if he escapes their clutches.