National Football League

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr says he'd 'probably quit' if the team traded him

June 15

Some football players aren’t shy about letting everyone know when they’re unhappy.

Deshaun Watson has made it clear that he wants out of Houston. Russell Wilson at one point was unhappy with his situation in Seattle – though things have been ironed out since. And we all know about the situation between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Then there is Derek Carr, who falls into a different category. He just wants to be the quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders — period. The fact that he seems to be the subject of trade rumors just about every offseason doesn't matter to him, so long as it doesn't actually happen.

"I'd probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else," Carr told media members after Tuesday's minicamp. "I am a Raider for my entire life. I'm going to root for one team for the rest of my life – it's the Raiders. So I just feel that so strong in my heart, I don't need a perfect situation ... to make things right.

"I'd rather go down with the ship – you know what I'm saying? – if I have to."

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Carr was asked about his contemporaries who have aired their grievances this offseason and why he has not done the same.

"I'm that old-school mentality – I'm playing for one team, and that's it," the native of Fresno, California, said. "Whether we've won enough or not, I literally give every bit of energy and effort that I can to this organization, and when I sign a contract, I completely, in my mind, have to fulfill that. I committed to that. I put my name on paper."

If anyone has a right to complain, it might be Carr, who has arguably toiled in a more difficult situation than either Rodgers or Wilson.

The Raiders have struggled to put a winning team around him since he joined the franchise as a second-round draft pick in 2014, producing only one winning season (12-4 in 2016) and an overall record of 47-65 (.420 winning percentage) in his tenure. While some would be quick to put some of the blame on Carr, others have pushed back.

"I'm tired of the Derek Carr hate, to be honest," ESPN's Mina Kimes said. "Derek Carr is not perfect, but he's not the problem. The problem is – and it's been this way for a long time – the defense. The defense has been horrible."

While the Raiders' defense has struggled, Carr has been consistently solid during his run, passing for more than 4,000 yards in each of his past three seasons and producing a passer rating better than 100 in his previous two.

Nevertheless, Carr’s name has consistently come up in trade rumors in recent offseasons, including when reports of unhappy quarterbacks in Seattle and Green Bay surfaced this offseason.

Even Carr’s older brother, David – a former NFL quarterback who is an analyst for NFL.com – hinted that the four teams on Wilson’s wish list (one of which was the Raiders) should have pursued the Seahawks quarterback.

Derek Carr doesn’t seem to care about any of that.

"People can say whatever they want," he said. "I know what I've put on film. I know the things I've been able to accomplish, and I still want more. There's still more, and I want to do it here. I don't want to do it anywhere else."

The good news for Carr is that the Raiders appear to be just as loyal to him as he is to them. In February, Ian Rapoport reported that Las Vegas has rebuffed other teams when they came calling about Carr.

As far as trade rumors go, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock is on record saying that he likes the guy he has in-house.

"I think Derek Carr had his best year yet under Jon Gruden," Mayock said this offseason. "I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and we couldn't be happier with him. … I think Jon and I would both stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."

Now the question is whether the Raiders can finally put a consistent winner on the field. Carr, for one, is optimistic.

He should hope things improve, as the alternative for a player who has made it clear he doesn't want to be anywhere else might not be so pleasant.

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