PHOENIX — “Hurry Up And Wait” might soon take its place in the Oakland Raiders‘ lexicon alongside “Commitment To Excellence,” “Pride And Poise” and “Just Win, Baby.”
Not only does it apply to the franchise’s planned move to Las Vegas, which won’t happen until 2020, but it also figures when discussing a contract extension for franchise quarterback Derek Carr.
As Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said at this week’s NFL owners meetings, “significant talks [are] upcoming” between McKenzie and Carr’s representatives, as in after the draft April 27-29. In fact, McKenzie said Carr is such a team player that the 26-year-old is in no hurry.
“Y’all just come to me whenever,” McKenzie said Carr told him.
“He understands free agency, what we’re trying to do, and it’s never, ‘I need to know now,’” McKenzie said of Carr. “It’s not that.
“More likely, the serious talks will probably happen after the draft, but the communication, just talking philosophy of the contract, the thought process around it [will continue]. Hopefully when the serious talks start going, then it will be easier.”
The Raiders currently have more than $27.6 million in salary-cap space, seventh-most in the NFL, per ESPN Stats & Information.
Carr, who finished in a third-place tie in NFL MVP voting despite missing the season finale with a broken right fibula, is reportedly in line for an Andrew Luck-type payday. Luck got a record $140 million, six-year deal with $87 million guaranteed from the Indianapolis Colts last season. Carr made $908,346 in base salary in 2016 and would have a cap number of more than $1.7 million in 2017, the final year of his rookie contact.
In the case of Mack, the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2014, the team can exercise the option for his fifth season in 2018. Carr was Oakland’s second-rounder in 2014, Jackson its third-round selection.
McKenzie, the NFL executive of the year, has no doubt been doing some serious budgeting, which is a reason the Raiders have not been major players in free agency, a change from recent offseasons.
One way, perhaps, to find money for the trio is to heavily backload their deals, because Nevada has no state income tax and the Raiders do not plan on moving to Las Vegas until 2020, though they have no home yet for 2019 and could conceivably go as soon as 2018.
I asked McKenzie if Carr, who said he would have been ready for the Super Bowl had the Raiders made it that far, would be good to go for the start of offseason workouts, which begin April 17.
“He will be,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie shook his head affirmatively.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Carr, who underwent surgery in January, was “fired up” about participating in the workouts and would not be handled with kid gloves.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to take it easy,” Del Rio said at the AFC coaches breakfast.
“I got to peek out and see him working with the trainers last week … he’s moving around very well,” Del Rio said of his quarterback. “I think he’s real excited about where it is and how the rehab is going. We expect to have him for all the [organized team activities] and everything.”
After rookie minicamp, which is scheduled for May 5-7, OTAs are May 23-25, May 30-June 1 and June 5-June 8, with mandatory minicamp June 13-15.
Hurry up and wait, indeed.