ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s contract will get extended. There’s no doubt about that.
General manager Reggie McKenzie said serious contract talks will start after the NFL Draft. Carr has an idea when he hopes they will end. The team’s franchise signal caller would like a new deal done before training camp, when he prefers to shift focus entirely on football.
Carr said preliminary talks have been good, setting up what he believes will be an easy extension process. Carr’s agent Tim Younger will do the heavy lifting in this regard, but the quarterback said he’d like to stay involved during the process.
“The communication from both sides has been great,” Carr said Monday, the start of the Raiders offseason program. "They let me know exactly where they’re at, what they’re trying to do. We let them know where we’re at, what we’re trying to do. So, it hasn’t been hard. It’s been easy. Reggie sat down and talked to me. It’s not like some divide or anything. We’re a family, so we’re just trying to figure all of that out. We’ll let the draft happen. Reggie said he wanted to do it after the draft. They’ve been talking a little bit to build it, but I’ll let them handle that and hopefully it just gets done before training camp. Because, once football, training camp starts, I won’t even answer my phone if it has to do with that.”
Carr will start pulling some serious cash, likely with a nine-figure contract that keeps him in silver and black a long, long time. Carr is aware those figures could be high.
“It makes me just super grateful,” Carr said. “I know that that’s going to help a lot of people. I get overwhelmed by it because I know how many people that will help. Not only with my family, my wife’s family, around this country. Even in Haiti, I have a heart for those people in Haiti who I love dearly and that’s the cool thing to me is that we’ll be in a cool position to where we can help a lot of people.”
McKenzie would like to extend the top three picks from his excellent 2014 draft class. The Raiders can exercise a fifth-year option on first-round pick Khalil Mack and will do so by May, but third-round pick Gabe Jackson is also due a big payday.
Carr is first up, though there’s other money earmarked for other guys. That has limited the Raiders some in free agency, keeping them from locking down some other needs. McKenzie prefers to reward his own players over getting new guys, especially at key positions like quarterback and edge rusher. Mack knows his time will come, with a Von Miller-esque contract likely on the horizon.
Mack’s new deal won’t coincide with Carr’s, but the reigning NFL defensive player of the year isn’t stressing about it right now.
“That’s the whole point, to stay focused,” Mack said. “I’m not even really worried about that. That stuff will take care of itself. You have agents and those types of people to worry about for you. That’s the whole point with us for sure. You can talk about it here and there, the focus really comes down to winning ball games and grinding with your teammates and brothers and making this experience worth a lifetime. You have to approach this season like it’s your last.”