Quarterback Derek Carr appeared to confirm his nine-year career with the Raiders is over on Thursday after posting a farewell to the team’s fans on social media.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Carr was benched for the Raiders’ final two games of the season. The team had been expected to compete for a playoff spot after bringing in All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, a close friend of Carr, but they ended up with a 6-11 record as Carr threw a career-high 14 interceptions. He also posted his lowest passer rating since his rookie year in 2014.
The 31-year-old signed a $121.5m, three-year contract extension with the Raiders in April, but the terms of the deal means he can be cut within three days of the Super Bowl for a relatively small salary-cap hit. However, he is guaranteed $40m if he remains with the Raiders or agrees to a trade before February 15. Carr has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he can veto a deal with a team he does not want to play for.
Carr was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft for the Raiders, who were then based in Oakland. He holds most significant quarterback records for the franchise, including career passing yards, touchdown passes and passer rating. However, he appeared in just one playoff game for the Raiders and in Thursday’s post he said the “fire burning inside of me to win a championship still rages”. He is likely to attract interest from teams in need of a solid veteran starter and quarterback, including the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders and New Orleans Saints.
On Thursday, Jets owner Woody Johnson said the team is in the market for a veteran quarterback after the struggles of their No. 2 overall pick from 2021, Zach Wilson.
“Absolutely,” Johnson told reporters. “We’ve got a cap, so there’s an amount you can spend. But, yeah, yeah. [Quarterback] is kind of the missing piece.”
Carr has also attracted praise for his off-field leadership, including his handling of a turbulent 2021 season during which receiver Henry Ruggs killed a young woman in a car crash and head coach Jon Gruden resigned after emails in which he used racist, misogynistic and homophobic language became public.