ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr is confident he will have a new contract extension before the Raiders report for training camp at the end of July.
If for some reason that doesn’t happen, Carr said he would play out the final year of his rookie deal in 2017 rather than negotiate a new contract once camp has started and his focus is entirely on the upcoming season.
“I wouldn’t even answer my phone,” Carr said Tuesday. “The money isn’t the thing that drives me. If it was, then I shouldn’t be standing here. What drives me is making sure I’m giving everything I have with my abilities and making sure that we win. I don’t want anything distracting my thought process at all. It’s not a jab or anything like that. That’s just me saying, ‘I’m not going to deal with anything that’s not helping me just focus on winning.’”
Carr is in the final season of his bargain rookie deal that is slated to pay him just under $1 million in his fourth season. Because he was drafted in the second round, not the first, in 2014, the Raiders are unable to use a fifth-year option to retain Carr like they did earlier this offseason with star pass rusher Khalil Mack.
So Oakland must give Carr a long-term deal that would likely make him one of the top-paid players in the game after a successful three-year start to his career or be forced to use the franchise tag in 2018 to retain him.
Carr said there have been no substantive talks as of yet but he expects things to heat up soon between the Raiders and his agent, Tim Younger.
“Hopefully it will get done,” he said. “Both sides keep saying it’s going to get done. I’m not worried about it to let you know about it. Once camp hits, I don’t want to be a distraction. I’ve made it very clear that I want to be a Raider my entire career. I don’t want to play for anybody else. They know that. They’ve told me how bad they want me. We’ll see.”
Carr said it bothered him to watch Mack have to answer questions about Carr’s contract recently in a television interview and he wants to avoid putting his teammates in that situation in the future.
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