HENDERSON, Nev. — Two weeks and a day after being benched by the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr broke his silence and bid farewell to the crew’s followers in an announcement on social media Thursday.
Carr had been the Raiders’ beginning quarterback since being chosen within the second spherical of the 2014 NFL draft.
“It breaks my coronary heart I did not get a chance to say goodbye in particular person,” Carr wrote, regardless of staying away from the crew for its closing two video games in a mutual resolution to not grow to be a distraction. “We actually have been on a curler coaster in our 9 years collectively. From the underside of my coronary heart, I’m so grateful and appreciative of the years of help you gave to my household and me. We had our share of each coronary heart breaking moments and thrilling recreation successful drives, and it all the time felt such as you have been there subsequent to me.
“It’s particularly arduous to say goodbye as a result of I can actually say that I gave you every thing I had, each single day, in season, and within the off season. It actually wasn’t excellent, however I hope that I used to be capable of depart you with various nice recollections as Raider followers.”
Carr, who signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Raiders in 2017 after which a three-year, $121.5 million extension final spring, stated in 2021 he would “most likely give up soccer if I needed to play for any individual else. I’m a Raider for my complete life. I’m going to root for one crew for the remainder of my life — it is the Raiders. So I simply really feel that so sturdy in my coronary heart I do not want an ideal state of affairs … to make issues proper.
“I’d relatively go down with the ship, you understand what I’m saying, if I’ve to.”
In his newest assertion, Carr acknowledged these emotions however stated he regarded ahead to taking part in for one more NFL crew.
“I meant that,” he wrote, “however I by no means envisioned it ending this manner. That fire burning inside me to win a championship nonetheless rages.”
Carr’s most up-to-date extension included the fitting for the Raiders to chop him inside three days of the Super Bowl for a comparatively minor $5,625 salary-cap hit and gave the quarterback a no-trade clause.
Thursday’s assertion could possibly be seen as taking away the Raiders’ leverage in a commerce. Carr, whose contract ensures him $40 million if he’s nonetheless with Las Vegas or agrees to a commerce earlier than Feb. 15, might merely look ahead to the Raiders to launch him and hit the open market, with Las Vegas getting nothing in return.
Trades can’t grow to be official till March 15. So if the Raiders do discover a commerce companion for Carr, not solely would the quarterback should comply with the vacation spot, the Raiders would additionally should belief that the opposite crew wouldn’t again out. So whereas Carr may discover a sturdy marketplace for his providers, his commerce worth to the Raiders won’t be as excessive because it as soon as was.
Earlier this week, first-year coach Josh McDaniels stated a dialog with Carr was within the offing.
“Again, we have had an awesome relationship,” McDaniels stated. “He’s achieved quite a lot of nice issues, and something that is stated in any other case is wrong. So we’ll sit up for that, and like I stated, there might be a while between at times.”
Carr, who turns 32 on March 28, stayed away from the crew as Jarrett Stidham began the Raiders’ closing two video games: an time beyond regulation loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC’s No. 2 seed, and a defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC’s No. 1 seed
The Raiders completed 6-11, and Carr completed with 3,522 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 15 video games. He additionally had the bottom passer ranking (86.3) and the bottom completion share (60.8%) since his rookie season. His 2.8% interception share was additionally a profession excessive.
Carr owns Raiders franchise profession information for passing yards (35,222), landing passes (217), sacks (264), fourth-quarter comebacks (28), game-winning drives (33) and begins by a quarterback (142), whereas throwing 99 interceptions, the third-most in franchise historical past. His profession report, although, is 63-79, and he appeared in a single playoff recreation, shedding within the wild-card spherical to the Cincinnati Bengals 26-19 final season after throwing a last-minute interception shy of the aim line.