Finally. Derek Carr got PAID!
Go ahead. Get your jokes out. "OH WOW THE FOURTH-BEST QB IN HIS DIVISION GOT PAID. CONGRATS RAIDERS YOU CLOWNED YOURSELVES."
Nah. I'm not here for that. Derek Carr is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the entire NFL. He dealt with a move to Las Vegas. Then came the exit of his chaotic, anachronistic-on-so-many-levels head coach Jon Gruden in the middle of last season. Of course, the awful Henry Ruggs situation won't soon be forgotten. The Raiders made a slew of misfires on high draft picks, failing to build out a better roster around Carr while he was on, quite inarguably, the biggest bargain of a contract among non-rookie QBs.
Through all that turmoil, Carr has remained a constant for the Silver and Black. And big surprise, the new regime in Las Vegas of coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler — who helped oversee the greatest football dynasty we'll probably ever see in New England — said, "You know what? This guy is pretty fucking good. Let's pay him!"
What's great too is that Carr knew not to command a contract that would absolutely DEVASTATE the Raiders' salary cap. Even with the knowledge that the cap ceiling will continue to exponentially increase in the coming years, Carr struck an agreement for a sensible payday.
This is coming off a career year in which he held his team together, quickly adapted to interim coach Rich Bisaccia, and came within a few plays of knocking off the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs. He STILL takes a team-friendly deal that pays him PLENTY ($40.5 million AAV on the three-year extension) and affords the Raiders the ability to acquire more talent. They'll need it in the AFC West, where Carr's counterparts are Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson.
Gruden may have said publicly that he supported Carr, yet he always seemed to be flirting elsewhere for an upgrade. The Raiders even made Marcus Mariota the highest-paid backup in the league in the not-so-distant past. I mean come on, seriously?
Carr has 24 fourth-quarter comebacks and 30 game-winning drives since the Raiders drafted him in the second round in 2014. He's only entering his age-31 season even though it feels like he's been around forever. NOW, he has quite possibly the best wide receiver in the game in Davante Adams on his team, who also happens to be a close friend and former college teammate. Adams will team up with slot extraordinaire Hunter Renfrow and elite tight end Darren Waller to form a potent trio of pass-catchers.
Once Adams arrived in Vegas, it was only a matter of time before Carr got his new deal. Thank goodness the Raiders' incompetent management teams of yesteryear weren't in charge. They would've slighted Carr by bringing in a pricy backup, or openly waxed poetic about other signal-callers. Seems like the times they are a changin' for this franchise. No time was wasted getting new contracts done for Adams, Maxx Crosby and another marquee acquisition in pass-rusher Chandler Jones.
So yeah, it's now official: Carr is gonna be driving this high-flying Raiders passing attack for years to come. He's a great player. McDaniels and Ziegler didn't overthink it or cast Carr off in favor of "THEIR GUY" whoever the hell that might be. This is Carr's ship to captain. LET'S GO.