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Raiders officially end 9-year relationship with Derek Carr

Updated February 14, 2023 - 1:15 pm

The Raiders officially ended their nine-year relationship with Derek Carr on Tuesday by releasing the veteran quarterback.

Carr’s release came before a 1 p.m. Tuesday deadline that would have triggered a $40.4 million roster guarantee. It also means he is immediately free to begin negotiating a contract with other teams.

From the Raiders’ perspective, cutting Carr means getting out from under the three-year, $121 million contract extension they agreed to last year. The Raiders will be docked a $5,625,000 dead cap hit but will save $29.25 million in 2023.

They are now projected to have approximately $50 million in cap space when free agency begins next month.

In a joint statement, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler said:

“We have a lot of respect for Derek Carr and what he has meant to the Raiders organization for the last nine years. Derek has done great things in this league, and we’re thankful to have been able to work with him this past year. He is a true professional, and we appreciate his hard work in striving to produce the results we all desire. We wish Derek and his family all the best in the future.”

The Raiders had hoped to trade Carr before the deadline to get an asset in return — and they had the framework of a deal in place last week with the Saints — but he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause after meeting with the Saints.

New Orleans was the only team that showed legitimate interest in trading for Carr, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but there were conditions. The Saints wanted him to rework his contract, and Carr was unwilling to do so.

Carr will now take his chances on the open market, where he gets more control over his landing spot and can perhaps create a more favorable market in which multiple teams can bid for his services.

The Raiders selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft. He’s the franchise leader in touchdown passes (217), completions (3,201) and passing yards (35,222).

But the Raiders had only two winning seasons and two playoff appearances in Carr’s nine years. He lost the only playoff game in which he played, and the Raiders went 63-79 with him under center.

A combination of factors played into the lack of team success, many out of Carr’s control. He played under six head coaches, multiple offensive coordinators and three general managers, and the roster was turned over numerous times.

Carr was going into the final year of his contract at a below-average quarterback salary of $20 million per season when McDaniels and Ziegler were hired in January 2022. He was given the three-year extension, but the deal contained a club out-clause after the 2022 season — before the extension took effect.

McDaniels and Ziegler were essentially giving Carr one season to prove that he was the team’s long-term answer at quarterback.

With the team 6-9, Carr was benched for the final two games of the season. The decision was partly money-driven, as the $40.4 million roster clause was guaranteed in the event of a serious injury.

Jarrett Stidham started the final two games, both losses. He also is a free agent.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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