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Raiders sign Derek Carr: My early thoughts on contract extension

The no-trade clause is interesting

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals
Derek Carr
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The news that the Las Vegas Raiders have given quarterback Derek Carr a contract extension is not a shock.

It’s been coming, but now that it has happened, there are some interesting aspects to discuss. Let’s examine.

No-trade clause:

NFL Media has reported that Carr has a no-trade clause, which is interesting. So he is tied to the Raiders through the 2025 season. He has said he would rather retire than play elsewhere and his close friend, receiver Davante Adams, is locked in through at least the 2024 season. It’s highly doubtful that Carr would lift his no-trade rights, so he is going to be a Raider until he’s 35, which is quite a ride for the 2014 second-round pick.

That means new Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels is totally riding with Carr as his quarterback. If the Raiders fail during the next four years, McDaniels will go down with Carr as his quarterback. There is major belief by McDaniels that he can win big with Carr. Yes, Pro Football Talk has reported the Raiders can get out of the deal next year. But both sides want this deal to work out.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals
Darren Waller
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Spending a lot of money:

Carr is the fourth big-ticket player McDaniels and new Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler have secured this offseason. He joins defensive end Maxx Crosby, Adams and pass rusher Chandler Jones.

It has been reported that the new Carr deal will leave salary-cap flexibility and it will be needed.

The team has two big contracts still to address. Star tight end Darren Waller is badly underpaid and has two years left on his contract, and slot star Hunter Renfrow can be a free agent next year. There’s still spending to do in the desert.

Super Bowl or bust:

Like I wrote after the Adams trade with Green Bay last month, the Raiders are all in. They have the talent they want and there are no more excuses. It’s Super Bowl or nothing. If they don’t win it all during Carr’s contract, it will be a disappointment. These deals weren’t made just to compete in the top-heavy AFC. Mark Davis is paying big to win it all.

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Alex Leatherwood
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Key is offensive line:

The pressure is on the offensive line. The Raiders have committed to Carr and now they have to protect him. The offensive line is still not complete and it’s unproven. Improving this unit (which won’t be easy this offseason) now and in the future has to be a focal point. It’s a question mark and that’s not great for a quarterback.