Thursday, January 20, 2022

Raiders’ Derek Carr enters 2022 with future in Las Vegas likely tied to new head coach, per report

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© Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not something Derek Carr is thinking about at the moment, but he will soon, and the definition of “soon” is contingent upon how well the Las Vegas Raiders fare against the Cincinnati Bengals on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend. Carr has long been rumored as someone the team might look to move on from for glitzier names but, to this point, general manager Mike Mayock has proven he’s uninterested in parting ways with Carr. It again becomes a topic of conversation in 2022, though, as the team shops for a new full-time head coach that may or may not view Carr in high regard.

To that point, it’s being reported that the future of the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Las Vegas is tied into the will of whomever assumes the role after the firing of Jon Gruden amid an email scandal — per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Along with interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, Carr has been a steady hand through and following the scandal, helping to lead the Raiders to their first playoff berth since 2016 and their second since they lost Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season.

With a chance to give the Raiders a playoff win Saturday, something the organization is desperate for, Carr will both buy himself more time before having what might be an awkward offseason while also helping to pave the way for convincing the brass and incoming HC he’s worth the price of admission. It’s also a decision that falls in the lap of Carr, though, considering he’s entering the final year of a five-year contract and, as such, speeding right toward free agency in 2023 — assuming no trade in the season to come.

Carr has made it well-known he only wants to play for the Raiders, but the NFL has proven time and again that it is still a business, so it’ll be interesting to see how his longstanding relationship with the team he loves plays itself out. And, again, a lot of it will be stapled to how he plays Saturday.

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