Quotes from Derek Carr’s first press conference following his five-year, $125 million record setting contract extension.
Following an eventful offseason thus far, Oakland Raiders fans have another thing to be smiling about. Derek Carr announced on Thursday that he had signed new contract extension, which turned out to be for five years a d a record $125 million, which made him the highest paid player in NFL history. Carr earned $70 million in guarantees, with $40 million at signing.
Both the Raiders and Carr made it officially official today, by formally having Carr sign his extension. Carr had a press conference following the occasion, in which he was accompanied by general manager Reggie McKenzie.
"“I never chased the money” Carr said during his Friday presser. “It’s about being the best version of myself every day. If I can get even one kid to understand that, I’ve done my job.”"
Like Carr has said all along, he is excited that the deal is done so now he can just focus on football.
"“The fact that it’s done and then I can just focus on football, that was the main reason I set a training camp deadline. I would be doing this organization a disservice if I was like, ‘No, let’s keep talking about it.’ It’s so hard to win in this league, I have to focus all of my attention during training camp on winning and not business. That was the only reason I set that is because I was not going to do this organization or my teammates or coaches a disservice by having my mind, even one percent, somewhere else.”"
Even though Carr set a deadline of training camp for his deal to be done, McKenzie was never worried it would get to that point.
"“We didn’t think it was going to get to training camp, to be honest with you because from the outset, both sides wanted the deal done. I thought our guys did a great job getting together and hammering it out. We both wanted to the same thing. That part was easy. We could tell that Derek wanted to be here. And we let him know, without a doubt, we wanted him here. It was easy. It was easy. We didn’t make it hard. Derek, Tim didn’t make it hard. But it is a relief to know that going into training camp, he’s our guy. And it’s a relief off of Derek’s shoulders.”"
Although Carr does have an average salary of $25 million per year, he made it very clear that he was not going to try and be a crutch for the team. Instead, he wanted to make sure that his contract was structured in a way so both fellow teammates Khalil Mack and Gabe Jackson could be extended as well.
"I’d say, ‘That’s awesome, but is it good for Gabe? Is it good for Khalil?’” Carr said. “Hurting the team is the last thing I wanted to do.” Carr also added “I wasn’t chasing every dime. You can’t pay me a better compliment than to tell me you trust me with the keys to this thing”"
McKenzie looked to be more excited than Carr, as he know has the most important piece on the roster taken care of. McKenzie said, “Both sides wanted to get a deal done,” we both wanted the same thing.”
Despite the newfound wealth, Carr said he plans to eat at Chick-Fil-A, and he talked about wanting to help others.
"“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”"
Now that Carr has been taken care of, it appears that Gabe Jackson will be the next player McKenzie looks to target. It was reported by Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, that there is no specific timetable for when Jackson’s contract will get done.
Another player fans should keep their eyes on is Khalil Mack. Luckily, the Raiders were able to exercise his fifth year option, so McKenzie has until next year to draw up Mack’s contract, which very well could make him the NFL’s highest paid defensive player.