We'll never know if Derek Carr would have actually hung up his cleats if he would have been forced to continue his career somewhere other than Las Vegas, not after Carr inked a three-year extension on Wednesday that will run through the 2025 season.
Carr, sharing a conversation he had with his agent during contract talks, said that that's exactly what he would have done if he wasn't going to stay with the Raiders, who drafted him with the 36th pick in 2014. Fortunately for Carr, it never came to that, as the Raiders have made Carr one of the NFL's highest-paid players.
"I've only wanted to be a Raider," Carr, donning a Raiders cap and black shirt, told the media shortly after signing his extension. "I told my agent, 'I'm either going to be a Raider or I'm going to be playing golf. I don't want to play anywhere else.' ... I was dead serious when I said that. I had one year left on my contract. If it was one year, it was going to be one year. Thankfully, it'll be four more."
Carr is keeping his day job, but he shared that he recently made a hole in one during a recent golf outing, albeit no one else was there to see it. We'll have to take Carr's word on his recent golf achievement, but it's clear Carr didn't have to convince the Raiders' brass that he is the right player to quarterback the franchise for the foreseeable future.
The Raiders are not only committing to Carr, but they increased his odds at success earlier this offseason with the acquisition of Davante Adams. Adams signed a five-year deal with Las Vegas shortly after being traded from Green Bay, where he was a five-time Pro Bowler while playing with four-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers.
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"Honestly, it was like riding a bike," Carr said about his recent throwing session with Adams, his favorite receiver during their time together at Fresno State. "The guy is so freakishly talented, he makes me look better than I actually am. It's a blessing to be able to play with him, not only the player he is, but he's one of my best friends in the whole world.
"We've tried to plot and scheme this thing for a long time, but at the end of the day, we both loved our situations … but we always talked about it; one day, we were going to make it happen. The opportunity came, and we worked hard to try to make that happen. The fact that it's here, it's exciting. We've had success together but that was at the college level, completely different. But we do have confidence that we can do it at this level, too."
Despite his new deal, Carr said he is going to continue to work with an underdog mentality, one that has helped him overcome several unique challenges during his career. Carr's fortitude was on full display in 2021, when he led Las Vegas to a playoff berth despite an in-season coaching change and Henry Ruggs III's tragic car accident that led to his arrest and release from Las Vegas.
"Obviously we have to earn that (playoff) spot," Carr said of the '22 Raiders. "I don't know what we were (last season), the fifth seed or something like that. Hopefully we can earn more than that this year; that's always the goal. With this division, it'll be tough, but we're excited for that challenge."
Carr is also excited to remain with the Raiders, a franchise hoping to make the next step towards winning its first Lombardi Trophy since January of 1984.
"Raider Nation, I am so excited that I can be once a Raider, always a Raider," Carr said. "I'm glad that we can keep this thing going. We've got more work to do. We've got to build on these last couple of years. Excited to see what we can do, but there's a lot of work to do."