Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr Apparently More Fragile Than We Believed

Jun 13, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) addresses the media at minicamp press conference at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) addresses the media at minicamp press conference at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oakland Raiders are about to make franchise quarterback Derek Carr a very wealthy man – which, perhaps inevitably, has brought out some of the more ludicrous assertions about his worth.

It’s been quite a long time since the Oakland Raiders have had a franchise quarterback to call their own. In fact, Oakland hasn’t had a franchise quarterback since Rich Gannon was taking the snaps for the Silver and Black – which, if you’re scoring at home, was a long, long, long time ago.

But now, the team has Derek Carr in the fold and he has this team pointed in a very upward trajectory. Having endured the likes of JaMarcus Russell, Kyle Boller, Jason Campbell, and Josh McCown, among others, the Raiders have their franchise quarterback – and they’re about to make him a very wealthy man.

It’s being reported that the Raiders and Carr are very close to closing out a contract extension for the fourth-year pro, that is going to make him the highest paid quarterback in the NFL – clocking in around $25 million dollars a year.

Andrew Luck – the league’s current highest paid quarterback – is making around $24.6 million a season.

It’s not a new or out of left field figure. We’ve known for quite some time that the Raiders were going to give Carr a very healthy payday. And now that the deal is beginning to come to fruition – they’re not quite there just yet – the reactions are already pouring in.

While most of the reactions have been positive and have centered around the fact that Carr is proving himself to be one of the top talents at his position in the league, there are a few pieces floating around that are – oh, how shall we say it? – well, they’re just plain ridiculous.

One such piece of ridiculousness comes to us courtesy of the Raiders Wire writer Will Hernandez who posits a simple question – are the Raiders overpaying for Carr given his apparent track record with injury?

Okay, stop laughing and or cursing now and read on. From Hernandez’s article:

"“It’s all but inevitable that the Oakland Raiders are going to sign their franchise quarterback Derek Carr to a ginormous contract worth around $25 million per year, however, injuries are an inevitable part of football and Carr has proven more fragile than some would care for.”"

If you’re shaking your head over that statement right now, you’re not alone. Setting aside the fact that the word “ginormous” was used in a serious sports article – and how many things are “inevitable” in that short paragraph – the statement that Carr has “proven more fragile than some would care for,” is utterly mind-boggling.

To say the least.

Oakland Raiders
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is helped off the field during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at the Oakland Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Indianapolis Colts 33-25. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Rather than address that statement with #alternativefacts, let’s instead, address it with some actual fact. In Carr’s three-year career, he’s missed a whopping total of – are you ready for this? – one game. One. That’s right, in 48 possible starts over his tenure under center for the Raiders, Carr has made 47 of them.

The only game he missed? You guessed it – last season’s regular season finale against Denver after he broke a bone in his leg in a game against Indianapolis the week before. The injury, “inevitably” led him to miss Oakland’s lone playoff game in Houston last season – which “inevitably” ended terribly.

Trying to prove his point about Carr’s supposed “fragility,” Hernandez went on to point out another in the quarterback’s lengthy injury history.

"“Last season, Carr led the Raiders to a 12-4 record, which was Oakland’s best finish in 15 seasons, but went down with a broken fibula in Week 16 after dislocation a finger on his throwing hand in two places taking a snap just a few weeks prior.”"

What Hernandez fails to point out though, is the fact that Carr’s injury occurred in the third quarter, but he returned to the field after getting a little treatment on it, to rally the Raiders to a big win over Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

So, what was that about fragility again?

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Hernandez goes on to say that the Raiders would be “foolish” to not pay Carr the going rate for quarterbacks these days. But still, the idea that they’re “overpaying” Carr for some imaginary issue with injuries should be the real takeaway from his article – if only because it’s well beyond ludicrous.

Do franchise quarterbacks make too much money? Maybe. Is $25 million a year too much to pay for a single player? Perhaps. But as they say, it is what it is – and a discussion best saved for another day and another forum.

As of today, that’s the going rate for a player at arguably, the most important position on the team. Which means that the Raiders aren’t “overpaying,” they’re simply paying an inflated market value.

Franchise quarterbacks with the sky-high potential of Oakland’s young signal caller are few and far between. Every team wants one, but very few have a game changer like Derek Carr. Maybe $25 million a year is too much to pay a guy to play a game. But the one certainty is that if the Raiders don’t pay that tab, somebody else surely will.

And after fumbling and bumbling their way through the darkness for almost 15 years, the Raiders are finally stepping out into the light once more. And having tasted success, you can bet your last dollar that they’re going to do everything in their power – including paying their franchise quarterback insane amounts of money – to keep themselves from slipping back into that dark abyss.