Amidst reports of frustration and other things, there’s no reason to panic about the Oakland Raiders signing Derek Carr to a long-term deal.
With holes on their defense that was inconsistent and underperforming a year ago, many have wondered why the Oakland Raiders weren’t bigger players in free agency this offseason. After all, they were on the cusp of contending in 2016. Had it not been for quarterback Derek Carr’s injury, perhaps they would have. So superficially, going all-in to fill voids would make sense.
However, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has built this team with long-term success in mind. Yes, winning Super Bowl LII would be great — but winning several in the coming years would be even better. Subsequently, much of their cap space has been saved with the notion of locking up Carr and Khalil Mack for the long haul.
Despite those intentions, though, there has been increasingly negative talk recently regarding negotiations with the quarterback. Reports have circled with the words “frustrated” and similar sentiments regarding Carr’s position on these talks. In turn, fans have too begun to be concerned as letting Carr go would likely be a monumental mistake.
Luckily, it turns out that much of that negativity is just noise. McKenzie was asked about his talks with Carr on Thursday and painted the situation in a much more favorable light.
In an interview with 95.7 The Fan (per the Mercury News), McKenzie had this to say regarding his relationship with and the situation involving his quarterback:
“I see Derek every day,” McKenzie said Thursday in an interview on 95.7 The Game. “We have a great relationship, communicate very well. Now, that’s not going to be an issue at all. … I don’t like discussing contracts through the outside, outside these walls. I kind of keep that as kind of being my mantra and kind of keep that personally in house, but bottom line is we love Derek and we want to keep him and we’re going to do everything to make sure this contract gets done.”
Admittedly, that’s what any sensible general manager in the midst of negotiations is going to say. However, it feels especially prescient coming from McKenzie. Every move since he took his role in the front office has been quite transparent and straight-forward. So for him to change that approach with arguably his greatest asset would be an asinine approach. And considering the team he’s been building, McKenzie is anything but.
Frankly, it feels like a formality still that Carr will be signed to a long-term deal sooner rather than later. There’s no immediate rush to get the ink dried, though it would ease the minds of fans. However, both the quarterback and the front office are looking out for their interests. Finding the middle ground takes time.
But when you get down to brass tax, Carr at the helm of the Raiders as currently constructed makes them a contender for years to come. That’s something that both he and the Oakland front office are wholly aware of. Thus, there’s no reason to worry or panic about the situation. The deal will get done, just in due time.