Just when you thought that things between Derek Carr and the Raiders couldn't get any more awkward, they got more awkward on Thursday.
Carr was forced to represent the Raiders at the Pro Bowl, except you couldn't actually tell that he was representing the Raiders because he didn't wear any Raiders gear.
Talked & shared a good laugh with Derek Carr intentionally wearing a NFL hat ahead of Pro Bowl games. We discussed his no-trade clause playing a key role in new team, wanting to throw a final TD to DaVante Adams & how he’s handing the abrupt Raiders end.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 3, 2023
Catch it on @nflnetwork: pic.twitter.com/HsEzBd3CQa
During the Pro Bowl, Carr actually took a shot at the Raiders following his win in the precision passing contest. After finishing with the highest score, Carr was asked if he's ever been that hot throwing the football before, "Not that hot," Carr said. "That's probably why I'm going somewhere else."
Following the event, Carr also made it clear that he won't be doing any favors for the team that benched him with just two weeks remaining in the 2022 season. Carr has $40.4 million in contract money that becomes guaranteed if he's still on the Raiders' roster on Feb. 15 and it would help the team a lot if he were to extend that deadline, but that definitely won't be happening.
"I don't think that would be best for me," Carr said Thursday, via ESPN.com.
Carr and the Raiders definitely haven't been on the same page this offseason.
With Carr soon heading out of Las Vegas, it would make sense for the team to let him start negotiating with other teams for a possible trade, but the Raiders haven't granted him permission and Carr doesn't seem very happy about that.
"That's for [the Raiders] to talk about," Carr said when asked about the situation. "I'm just obeying the rules. If it gets to the date [and I get released], then I'll be able to talk to all my friends."
If the Raiders are planning to trade Carr, it would definitely be smart for them to let Carr's camp negotiate with other teams. Carr has a no-trade clause, so the easiest way for him to get dealt is to let his agent find a new team and then let that team work out a trade with the Raiders. Instead, the Raiders have taken that option off the table.
That being said, Raiders GM Dave Ziegler made it sound like his team IS planning to trade Carr at some point.
"There's going to be people interested in Derek Carr. There's no doubt about that," Ziegler told SiriusXM NFL radio on Thursday. "He's been a good football player in this league for quite some time. Like I said, he's a phenomenal human being, and we'll kind of see where it goes."
The problem for the Raiders is that the ball isn't exactly in their court. If they do want to trade Carr, he has to sign off on it and that trade would almost certainly need to go down before the Feb. 15 trigger date in his contract.
The Raiders could theoretically keep Carr on the roster until March and try to work out a trade then, but that would come with some serious risk. Since he has a no-trade clause, Carr could simply veto any deal after Feb. 15 to keep a trade from getting done and the Raiders would still owe him the $40.4 million whether he's on the roster or not.
The Raiders could release Carr before Feb. 15, but then they'd be getting zero compensation in return, which would be a bad look for the front office since they could definitely get some value for Carr in any potential trade.
Based on what Carr had to say Thursday, it sounds like he would prefer to be released. The Raiders QB even had a conversation with another famous quarterback who was once released: Peyton Manning.
"I was talking to Peyton about it today," Carr said. "When he was released [from the Colts], he's like, 'Man, it was kind of surreal in the moment. You're like, wow. You can't even believe it.' But then you just go to the next place and you move on."
If Carr wants to be released, the Raiders are going to have tough time trading him due to his no-trade clause, which means we could definitely seem some more drama between the two sides before anything gets done.