Quarterback Derek Carr took to Twitter to write a goodbye to Raiders fans amidst reports he was going to be traded soon after the Super Bowl.
“Raider Nation it breaks my heart we didn’t get to say goodbye in person,” Carr wrote. “We certainly have been on a roller coaster in our nine years together. From the bottom of my heart, I am so appreciative and grateful of the years of support you gave me and my family. We had our share of heart-breaking moments and thrilling game-winning drives, and it always felt like you were there next to me.”
Carr’s lengthy statement came less than 30 minutes after a report surfaced the Raiders had already begun evaluating the trade market for their soon-to-be former franchise quarterback. Trade rumors started when Carr was benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham for the final two weeks of the regular season.
Mike Martz, an analyst for The 33rd Team, thought both Carr and the Raiders would benefit from a split when they decided to bench him.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t work,” Martz said. “I think it’s the best possible outcome for both guys. Josh McDaniels can get a young guy in there that he can groom, and that he’s more comfortable with. I think that Carr should’ve gotten out of there years ago. He should get a badge of courage for lasting as long as he did there.”
The Raiders have a large incentive to find a trade partner for Carr quickly. They have an opportunity to save nearly $30 million in salary cap space in 2023 if Carr is traded or cut prior to Feb. 15. Carr has a full no-trade clause in his contract, which could complicate any negotiations.
However, in his statement, Carr appears to be open to an opportunity with a new team.
“That fire burning inside me to win a championship still rages,” Carr wrote. “A fire no man can extinguish; only God. I look forward to a new city and a new team, who no matter the circumstance will get everything I have.”
Carr made 15 starts for the Raiders this season. He finished 6-9 in those games, and he led the league in interceptions with 14 at the time of his benching. Carr’s 60.8 completion percentage was the second lowest of his career, only ahead of his rookie season in 2014. He did throw for 3,522 yards and 24 touchdowns.