Raiders released Derek Carr after 9 years
On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Raiders made the decision to release quarterback Derek Carr, bringing his nine-year tenure with the team to an end. Carr, a four-time Pro Bowler and the franchise’s all-time leader in several significant passing categories, including yards, touchdowns, and QB rating, is now officially divorced from the Silver and Black.
The move did not come as a surprise, as Carr was benched for the final two regular-season games of the 2022 season. He subsequently stepped away from the team amid backup Jarrett Stidham’s brief trial run, which concluded with two losses. While Carr did not have a farewell news conference, he did post a goodbye message to Raiders fans on social media following the regular season.
“We have a lot of respect for Derek Carr and what he has meant to the Raiders organization for the last nine years,” coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler said in a statement.
“Derek has done great things in this league and we’re thankful to have been able to work with him this past year. He is a true professional and we appreciate his hard work in striving to produce the results we all desire. We wish Derek and his family all the best in the future.”
Ironically, Carr returned to the club’s facility in Henderson, Nevada, after being added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, the league’s all-star event staged in Las Vegas this year. However, the Raiders had to make a decision before Wednesday, which was the date at which Carr’s $32.9 base salary for the 2023 season would have become guaranteed, along with an additional $7.5 million of future earnings. While a deal might have been optimal, Carr’s no-trade clause allowed him to veto any move he didn’t agree to, and he was not willing to extend the deadline to facilitate a move.
The termination of his contract makes Carr a “street free agent,” which means he’s eligible to sign with a new American football club immediately. League-wide free agency doesn’t begin until March 15, when players with expiring contracts are free to sign new deals. But a month-long head start should be a boon for Carr, giving him more time to explore his options and potentially secure a new team before the free agency period officially begins.
Overall, while Carr’s departure from the Raiders was somewhat expected, it marks the end of an era for the team and a significant change for one of the NFL’s most talented and accomplished quarterbacks. Only time will tell where Carr ends up next, but his years with the Raiders have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the franchise and its fans.
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