LAS VEGAS (AP) — Quarterback Derek Carr said Thursday in his first public comments since being sacked. Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said he was ready for the challenge of playing in a new city.
“I once said that if I wasn’t a Ryder, I’d rather be home and I mean it, but I never imagined it would end that way,” Karr posted on Twitter. “That fire burning inside me to win a championship is still burning. A fire that no one can put out. Only God. So I am looking forward to a new city and a new team that, no matter the circumstances, will have everything I have.”
Carr started 142 games over nine seasons for the Raiders, providing stability for a franchise that went through 17 quarterbacks in 11 years before reaching the second round in 2014.
Carr helped lead the Raiders to playoff appearances in 2016 and 2021 and owns several team records, including most career passing yards (35,222) and touchdown passes (217). But he also earned the third team start in the Super Bowl era for a quarterback who has never won a team playoff game.
Carr struggled in his first year under McDaniels, despite the addition of future star and close friend Davante Adams to the offense, and was benched with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Carr posted his lowest scores since his rookie season in completion rate (60.6%) and passer rating (86.3), while posting his highest interception rate (2.8%) and lowest yards per attempt (7.0) since 2017.
This ultimately led to McDaniels and first year general manager Dave Ziegler’s decision to transfer from Carr less than a year after he signed a three-year extension. For $120.5 million.
A deal signed last April gave Carr a $5 million raise in 2022, but saved Las Vegas this off-season. The Raiders have until February 15 to release Carr or his $32.9 million salary for 2023 and $7.5 million of his $41.9 million salary for 2024 will be guaranteed.
The Raiders could attempt to reach an agreement on a deal for Carr before that deadline but the deal could not be completed until the start of the new league year on March 15. Whichever team acquires Carr will then take over the rest of the contract, which will include warranties in 2023-24 and an unguaranteed $41.2 million salary for 2025.
Carr has a no-trade clause in his deal, which gives him control over his destination. That could force the Raiders to simply cut it, sucking on $5.6 million of the 2023 salary cap with more than $29 million in savings.
“Derek’s tenure with the Raiders is effectively over,” Carr’s agent Tim Younger said. Posted on Twitter. Relationships end, but as here, he remains a treasure trove of memories and friendships, along with a very special bond with his fans. These will never end.
“Teams are constantly looking for franchise players who fully invest themselves, as Derek has done for nearly a decade, perhaps even for a foul. That is his real legacy here, much more than the many team records he holds.”
Carr thanked the fans in Las Vegas and Oakland as well as the organization.
“It’s hard to say goodbye because I can honestly say I gave you (the fans) my all, every day, in season, and off season,” Carr wrote. “It certainly wasn’t perfect, but I hope to leave you with more than a few great memories as a Ryder fan.”
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