Oakland Raiders: The Big News Is That There Actually Is No Real News

May 23, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass during organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass during organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr set the Internet ablaze on Tuesday when he announced – the same exact thing he’s been saying for quite a while now.

Who knew that maintaining a consistent position – like Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has done – and then reiterating that position when asked about it by the media could be such a newsworthy item?

Blame it on a slow news cycle, but that’s exactly what happened when Carr addressed the media on Tuesday and offered up an answer to a question about his contract negotiations – the same exact answer he’s been giving for months now – for some reason, on Tuesday, it set the Internet on fire.

After starting the second week of OTA’s, Carr met with the press to give them an update on a variety of things. Most notably, the giant elephant in the room that is his looming contract extension. And his answer to a question about the state of his impending deal, got a whole bunch of people incredibly hot and bothered.

During his remarks to the media, Carr said that he wants an extension in place prior to the start of training camp – or, you know, the same thing he’s been saying for quite a long time now.

"“I wouldn’t even answer my phone. The money isn’t the thing that drives me. What drives me is making sure I’m giving everything that I have with my abilities, and making sure that we win. And I don’t want anything distracting my thought process at all. Now, that’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.”"

Those comments – which again, are absolutely nothing new – touched off a bit of a firestorm and resulted in a flurry of articles. With many of those said articles making the implication – a few, the outright assertion – that Carr had suddenly issued a demand or dropped an ultimatum on the team.

Except that – he didn’t.

Despite the slant of many pieces floating around out there at the moment, there was no ultimatum at all. He simply stated his preference, what he needs, and where his mind is at in regard to his contract negotiation. Again – all things he’s said many times in the not too distant past.

Oakland Raiders
May 13, 2016; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio (left) and general manager Reggie McKenzie during rookie minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The other subtle bit of manipulation in many of the articles floating about is that the time is critical. Some of these pieces make it sound as if the team is right up against it and if nothing is done immediately, Carr is going to walk away.

That too, is a very skewed and manipulative perspective.

Training camp doesn’t open for the Raiders until July 29. That means, there are still about two full months left to go before camp opens – which means that there are still about two full months to get a deal for Carr in place.

So while yes, this is a pressing matter that GM Reggie McKenzie should make sure is on the front burner and get done sooner, rather than later, the situation is not yet even close to being critical – regardless of how the tone of some of these articles out there make it sound.

With Carr in line for the sort of payday Andrew Luck received from the Colts (six years, $140 million), it means that there will also be an incredibly complex contract that needs to be worked out between McKenzie and Carr’s agent. The language needs to be agreeable to both sides. Along with the base salary, total salary, guaranteed money, incentives – and a whole host of other things.

Suffice it to say, there are a lot of moving parts in this contract. It’s not nearly as simple as “here, just sign on the dotted line.” There are a lot of complicated factors involved in making this contract a reality.

Which means, it’s not going to happen overnight. But with about two months left to go until camp, Carr’s deal will get done. He wants to remain a Raider for life and the Raiders most definitely return that sentiment.

Carr’s desire to have a new contract in place by training camp has been well documented. He’s repeatedly said he has no desire to be a distraction to his teammates. Again, nothing new there. If there is one thing that Carr is, it’s that he’s all about the team and keeping the focus on their on-field performance.

"“All that stuff is fun and cool and all that, and it has to happen because it’s a business, but I have so many things that I want to work on and I don’t want to distract my teammates. Khalil had to answer questions on it on SportsCenter the other day, and that bugs the heck out of me, because there’s no reason he should have to talk about that. So, hopefully it will just get done. Both sides, obviously, keep saying it’s going to get done, so I’m not worried about it, to let you know that. But once camp hits, I don’t want to be a distraction.”"

If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because Carr has been saying the same thing for months. There was no demand, no ultimatum, and no threat. He was simply answering a question he’s answered – remarkably consistent, really – for months now.

So again, how is consistency in thought and words a newsworthy item again?

Carr’s contract is going to be expensive and it’s going to be complicated. You’re not going to put together a deal that rich without it being complex in nature.
But McKenzie will have this deal done. And he’ll have it done before camp starts. Not because Carr issued some phantom ultimatum, but because McKenzie values his quarterback and will stop at nothing to ensure his franchise player remains in a Silver and Black jersey for his entire career.

That contract isn’t going to get done overnight, but it will get done. And with about two months to go until the start of camp, there is still plenty of time – regardless of how critically time sensitive some articles out there have made it out to be.

Next: The Difference In 2017 Offensive Philosophy Is Trust

The big news out of the second week of OTA’s is that there really isn’t any big news. Despite some trying to make big news out of Carr’s incredibly consistent words and thoughts.

In other words, move along, nothing to see here.

Seriously. Nothing at all.