The Las Vegas Raiders made the decision to bench longtime quarterback Derek Carr two weeks before the end of the 2022 regular season, opting to finish the campaign with Jarrett Stidham under center. The move also signaled that the franchise would likely move on from Carr this offseason.
Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension this past offseason, but the Raiders can save $30 million if the quarterback is released or traded this upcoming offseason. On Thursday, NFL Media reported the Raiders will begin the process of evaluating the trade market for Carr. Not long after, the quarterback posted his official goodbye to the Raiders franchise on Twitter, and also said that he plans on continuing his pursuit of a Lombardi Trophy.
"Raider Nation it breaks my heart I didn't get an opportunity to say goodbye in person. We certainly have been on a roller coaster in our 9 years together. From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful and appreciative of the years of support you gave to my family and me. We had our share of both heart breaking moments and thrilling game winning drives, and it always felt like you were there next to me.
"It's especially hard to say goodbye because I can honestly say that I gave you everything I had, every single day, in season, and in the off season. It certainly wasn't perfect, but I hope that I was able to leave you with more than a few great memories as Raider fans.
"Thank you to the city of Oakland for taking us in. Thank you to the city of Las Vegas for allowing us to proudly call you home. Thank you to the organization, my teammates, all my coaches, staff, and everyone that helped me these last 9 years in those 2 buildings. Thanks to all of Raider Nation that supported, encouraged, pushed, and uplifted me at different times along this journey. Raider Nation truly is special.
"I once said that if I'm not a Raider I would rather be at home and I meant that, but I never envisioned it ending this way. That fire burning inside of me to win a championship still rages. A fire no man can extinguish; only God. So I look forward to a new city and a new team who, no matter the circumstance, will get everything I have. Winning a championship is what I've always wanted and what I will continue to work towards."
Carr was selected by the Raiders with the No. 36 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Fresno State. He was a three-time Pro Bowler from 2015-17, and leaves the Raiders as their all-time passing leader (35,222 yards), all-time passing touchdowns leader (217) and second in wins (63-79).
A hard deadline for a decision on Carr is Feb. 15; that's when his $40.4 million in salary over the next two seasons becomes guaranteed. If a trade is not reached by that deadline, the Raiders will release Carr, per The Athletic.
Carr's agent, Tim Younger, also released a statement announcing that the partnership between Carr and the Raiders was coming to an end.
"Derek's tenure with the Raiders effectively is finished. Relationships do end, but as is the case here, a treasure of memories and friendships remain, along with a very special bond with his fans. These won't end. Teams constantly search for franchise players who invest themselves completely, as Derek did for nearly a decade, maybe even to a fault. That's his true legacy here, much more so than the numerous team records he holds. He always showed up first; he played hurt, and through some tumultuous times, he led from the front and never complained. He will carry a piece of this organization with him always, and that doesn't include the hardware souvenir in his ankle. Now, he looks forward to the opportunity to write a new chapter for himself and his career.
"He's earned it."