In what was a widely expected move to begin the NFL offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have parted ways with longtime signal caller Derek Carr.
The timing of the transaction was not accidental, as Las Vegas would have been on the hook for a fully guaranteed $32.9 million salary for the 2023 season if Carr was still on the team’s roster by February 15. The Raiders and Carr both saw the writing on the wall, as the organization benched the veteran in the team’s final two regular season games in favor of reserve Jarrett Stidham.
The franchise will look to find its new leader under center, while Carr sifts through his options to find a new team.
Even though a release before February 15 was the most likely outcome, the Raiders front office looked to get something in return for their incumbent quarterback. The franchise granted permission to the New Orleans Saints to meet with Carr, in hopes that a potential trade could be worked out with Las Vegas. However, Carr’s contract includes a full no-trade clause, so any potential swap would need to be agreed to by the player first.
It’s difficult to gauge Carr’s interest in the Saints with the backdrop of the Raiders situation. It seems apparent that Carr was less than thrilled to be benched at the end of the regular season, and potentially didn’t want to help the Raiders out by agreeing to a trade. The possibility exists that Carr does end up a Saint via a direct signing.
Derek Carr has played his entire nine-year NFL career with the Raiders. After the franchise selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they immediately installed him as their starter under center. Despite picking up some bumps and bruises along the way, Carr has been a very durable player, starting in at least 15 games in every season.
The former Fresno State star concludes his career in Las Vegas with a 63-79 record as a starter. During that span, Carr has thrown for 217 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl four times in that stretch, which bodes well for the potential suitors he’ll have in the coming days and weeks.
Pro Bowl Farewell
In what was a pretty ironic turn of events, Carr would end up saying goodbye to the city of Las Vegas during the Pro Bowl. It was the site of the league’s annual showcase of best players, and Carr ended up being invited after other quarterbacks could not attend due to injury or Super Bowl obligations. It was an interesting dynamic, as the outgoing Raiders quarterback got to show off his skills for the fan base one last time.
During the week-long period of events, Carr was interviewed by the media several times. He made it abundantly clear that his NFL future would not be in Las Vegas, which served as additional confirmation for front offices around the league to think about how they could pitch him in free agency.