T-minus 12 days and counting until the Derek Carr era ends with the Las Vegas Raiders.
In his first extensive public comments since he was benched, triggering the end of his nine-season stay with the franchise, Carr made it abundantly clear that he will not be returning to the team and he won’t be doing it any favors on the way out.
Carr said on Thursday night after participating in the Pro Bowl precision passing contest at the Raiders’ headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, that he won’t extend the Feb. 15 deadline that triggers more than $40 million in guaranteed money based off a contract extension he signed last offseason.
“I don’t think that would be best for me,“ Carr told reporters.
Carr has a no-trade clause. He also confirmed reports that the Raiders haven’t given him permission to seek his own trade. He did say that he thinks there is still time for him to be traded before the deadline passes. Earlier Thursday, Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he thinks there will be interest in Carr.
Carr also refuted a report that said he’d rather be traded than released because it looks better. He said he is fine either way and noted he talked to Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning about being released. Manning won an NFL MVP award and a Super Bowl ring with the Denver Broncos after being released by the Indianapolis Colts.
ESPN reported on Friday that perhaps the Raiders will cut Carr before Sunday’s Pro Bowl flag football game because if he gets seriously injured it will trigger his the huge salary.
Could a Derek Carr release be coming?— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 3, 2023
"A league exec openly wondered this week whether the Raiders would cut Derek Carr before he participates in the Pro Bowl flag football game Sunday, since an injury there could trigger his $40.4 million guarantee early." - via @JFowlerESPN pic.twitter.com/NucwXSVent
Meanwhile, The Athletic reported on Friday morning that the Raiders are having trouble finding trade interest. Still, there are rumors that a team like the New Orleans Saints may make a play for Carr.
For Carr’s part, his stance is that he’s definitely leaving Las Vegas, saying the “time has come” and him moving on is best for both sides. He said he is excited about going to a new city and new franchise and said he isn’t mad at the Raiders and looks forward to going back to the team’s events in “60 years.”
Carr is going to be a former Raider very soon. The only question is it going to be through a trade or a release. The clock is ticking.