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Raiders, Derek Carr keep moving toward a divorce

Mike Florio and Peter King explain why they envision the Raiders making Derek Carr a free agent the day before his $40.4 million becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster February 15.

The Raiders wish to trade quarterback Derek Carr. As Billy Bob Thornton said in Bad Santa, “Wish in one had, shit in the other one, see which one fills up first.”

Apparently in response to criticism of their handling of Carr trade talks, which included a suggestion that the Raiders should approach a potential trade of Carr the same way the Texans handled a trade of Deshaun Watson, the Raiders mobilized Adam Schefter of ESPN to create the impression that the Raiders are doing just that.

As noted by Vic Tafur, who covers the Raiders for “Nothing has changed. This is just word scramble. Carr’s agent can’t talk to teams until they agree on compensation, which they likely wouldn’t until they talk about the contract.” Significantly, Carr himself “liked” Tafur’s tweet.

If the Raiders are doing what Schefter suggests they’re doing, they’re obviously being unreasonable in their expectations, because the current list of teams with which Carr is authorized to speak stands at . . . none.

So the Raiders need to soften their demand. It’s that simple.

And here’s where things are very different between Carr’s case and Watson’s -- Carr has $40.4 million in future salary that becomes fully guaranteed on February 15. The Raiders can avoid that obligation only if they work out a trade with another team, and if that other team doesn’t do to coach Josh McDaniels before the start of the new league year in March what McDaniels did to the Colts five years ago (i.e., exercise their absolute right to refuse to follow through with a verbal agreement),

Unless the Raiders give Carr permission to talk to other teams about a potential trade soon, he will (or at least should) refuse to ever waive his no-trade clause, forcing the Raiders to choose between cutting him before February 15 or owing him $40.4 million. Given that owner Mark Davis isn’t among the richest owners in the league, that’s an obligation he likely has little interest in assuming.

Thus, for now, we’re assuming Carr will be released by February 15. There’s simply no reason for him to accept any other outcome.