It continues a trend of Pro Bowl and All-Pro players getting huge contracts with either their existing team or after moving to a new squad.
According to Sporting News, Carr will have the fifth-highest annual salary of any QB this upcoming season.
Is he really worth that much, and have the Raiders made a wise investment?
Carr Has Improved Over The Last Few Years
After entering the National Football League in 2014 as a second-round draft pick, Carr wasn’t quite considered an elite quarterback.
Yes, he made the Pro Bowl for three straight seasons starting in 2015, but during that span, he never reached 4,000 passing yards, achieved over 32 touchdown passes, or recorded a passer rating above 96.7.
But the Fresno State University product has made strides of late.
In 2019 and 2020 his passer rating crept above 100, and last year he threw for 4,804 yards, by far his best mark in that department.
— NFL (@NFL) April 13, 2022
It was enough to finally get his Raiders into the playoffs for the first time in his career, albeit by the slimmest of margins.
This season, Carr will have the benefit of playing with Davante Adams, whom many consider to be the best wide receiver in football.
But Carr Still Isn’t A Next-Level QB
Even though he had a strong 2021 campaign, Carr wasn’t named to the Pro Bowl, and he only threw for 23 touchdowns, which was only 13th in the entire league.
The only QBs who will make more than him in 2022 are Rodgers, Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. At the same time, Carr will be paid more than Matthew Stafford, who just had a brilliant season and won the Super Bowl, and Russell Wilson, who won the Super Bowl not too long ago.
Can anyone say with a straight face that Carr is a better signal-caller than either Stafford or Wilson?
A strong argument could be made that Carr is the worst QB in the AFC West, behind not only Mahomes and Wilson but also Justin Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers’ wunderkind.
In the Wild Card playoff round versus the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders’ QB went just 29-of-54 and threw one touchdown and one interception in a 26-19 loss while being thoroughly outplayed by Joe Burrow.
4th and goal
Derek Carr throws it short of the end zone and it gets picked off 🤷♂️
The Bengals win their first playoff game in 31 years!
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) January 16, 2022
Yes, Adams will likely give Carr’s numbers a bump.
But QBs and WRs exist symbiotically, and perhaps Adams’ numbers will sag a bit now that he’ll be playing with a signal-caller who is not quite as great as Rodgers.
This Is Carr’s Chance To Prove Himself
With probably the game’s best wideout on his side, as well as the addition of elite pass rusher Chandler Jones, the Raiders have a real shot at winning their division, and they will likely go as far as Carr takes them.
If he takes them to not only first place in the AFC West, but if he also earns them a trip to Super Bowl LVII, Carr will have proven himself worthy of his gaudy new contract.