There’s a deadline approaching in the Derek Carr draft, and there’s been a glitch in the Raiders’ search for a business partner for their quarterback. The Raiders did not give Carr’s agent permission to speak to other teams, leagues and team sources familiar with the confirmed matter at Athleticism Monday. Sports Illustrated first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Raiders must trade Carr or cut him by Feb. 15, when the base salary of $32.9 million for next year and $7.5 million for 2024 will be fully guaranteed.
- Carr has veto power over any trade.
- Carr, 31, was benched for the final two games of the 2022 regular season. The Raiders instead launched Jarrett Stidham at quarterback. Carr left the team after the bench so as not to be a distraction.
- He sent a farewell message to fans of the organization via social media in January, signaling the end of his nine-year career with the team.
Why didn’t the Raiders give Carr permission?
The Raiders may be concerned that Tim Younger, Carr’s agent, will strike a free agent deal with the new team rather than help with trade terms. But Younger can do it on Feb. 16, long before the other quarterbacks in the league hit the free agent market. Younger would need to talk to the new team about Carr’s contract — either restructuring the current one or creating a new one — either way.
Younger declined to comment for this story. General manager Dave Ziegler, en route to Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl, was unavailable for comment.
Younger did not give the Raiders a list of teams he would be open to a trade to, the sources said, for the simple reason that it is wide open. Several teams still haven’t hired a coach or offensive coordinator.
What options are left?
It looks like the Raiders and Carr should work together to find a business partner. Carr would have the first dibs on his new team – which could rework his contract and save him from hitting the open market in March – while the Raiders could pick up a draft pick in return, or a veteran player they want.
And while Athleticism reported that Carr isn’t considering extending the February 15 salary guarantee deadline, there’s another possibility the Raiders should consider: Carr would like some time to speak to his new head coach and potential coordinator before agreement is reached, he could therefore decide to set his own deadline of February 8 and halt trade negotiations if nothing is settled by then.
Carr seems to hold all the cards, and perhaps the Raiders have already decided to move on and lose the nine-year-old starter for nothing rather than cede all control of the process.
(Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images)