As soon as the 2017 season ended, Derek Carr was eligible for a contract extension. And since that time, his agent and the Raiders have been working on getting the franchise quarterback locked in long term.
Carr will be entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract in 2017. Much like Reggie McKenzie has done with previous players he wished to keep on the team, he would like to not wait until after their final season on their contract is up and their back is against to wall to get a deal done.
Carr says the despite a deal not having gotten done after months of trying, things are still open and cordial between McKenzie and his agent as well as himself.
“The communication from both sides have been great,” said Carr. “They let me know exactly where they’re at and what they’re trying to do. We let them know exactly where we’re at and what we’re trying to do. It hasn’t been hard, it’s been easy. Reggie sat down and talked to me. It’s not like some divide or anything, we’re family. So, we’re just trying to figure all that out.”
For now, however, the team must shift their focus to the draft which is coming up quick, just about a week and a half from now.
“We’ll let the draft happen, Reggie said he wanted to do it after the draft,” Carr continued. “They’ve been talking a little bit to build it, but I’ll let them handle that.”
After the draft, the team will pick up the second set of OTA’s, then minicamp, before having a month off until training camp. That’s a little under three months that Carr is giving this to get done and he puts his focus wholly on seasons preparation.
Said Carr of contract talks; “Hopefully it just gets done before training camp because once training camp starts, I won’t even answer my phone if it has to do with that.”
These things can take time. And for players like Carr, they also require a good deal of money. With the Raiders planning on getting this extension done, they have maintained plenty of cash under the salary cap to make sure they could cover upfront bonuses and keep up McKenzie’s preference for not backloading the deal with a large prorated signing bonus.
Carr’s contract figures to be at or near the highest in the league which would put him around $25 million per season. What is often referred to as “Luck money” in reference to Andrew Luck who currently has the NFL’s top salary at just a shade under $25 million. That’s quite a jump from his current $977,000 base salary as a former second round pick.
The team could also look to give an extension to Gabe Jackson who was taken a round after Carr in 2014. Khalil Mack was taken in the first round and the team has a fifth year option on him which would have his extension talks taking place next offseason.