Yes, the Oakland Raiders signed their franchise quarterback Derek Carr to an extension. The five-year, $125 million extension makes Carr the highest-paid NFL player in history.
Previously, Carr said he would not talk about his contract through training camp. Clearly, the pressure worked. Now, the five-year, $125 million extension makes Carr the highest-paid NFL player in history.
In typical fashion for Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, the deal is front-loaded. However, Carr will make more money when the team relocates to Las Vegas which has fewer taxes. Moreover, Carr will earn more in endorsements as he and the Raiders keep improving.
Still, is Carr worth being the highest paid player in the NFL?
Pro Football Focus rated Carr as the sixth best quarterback with an 87 accumulative grade. Football Outsiders rated Carr as seventh in total value. Thus, he is on the cusp of becoming an elite NFL quarterback.
For more context, the Raiders have not had a quarterback like Carr in forever. Carr and Kenny Stabler are the only Raiders quarterbacks to make a Pro Bowl before 30, per Just Blog Baby. Moreover, Oakland started 15 quarterbacks between 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon and Carr. Hence, the Raiders do not Carr’s stability for granted. This is especially true when you consider the impact Carr has had for the Raiders brand and the Oakland community.
Not to mention, Carr was previously playing on a bargain deal. The 2014 second-round pick earned just over a million dollars in the past two seasons. He would have earned a similar amount before the extension. This bargain contract never prevented Carr from turning heads with his work-ethic since entering the league.
Ultimately, some question Carr’s ability to stretch the field and handle pressure. Nonetheless, Carr’s six interceptions were among the fewest in the league for qualified passers. The Raiders quarterback is also among the active NFL leaders in comeback victories. Plus, Raiders fans saw how terrible they were without Carr when he was injured towards the end of last season.
Of course, Carr’s status as the highest-paid player will change as other quarterbacks get extensions and the salary cap keeps increasing every year. Either way, is Derek Carr worth all those dollars?