ALAMEDA, Calif. — Derek Carr‘s surgically repaired right fibula, broken in a Week 16 Christmas Eve sack that derailed the Oakland Raiders‘ postseason plans, is healed enough that Carr is a full participant in the team’s offseason training program.
This progress in the healing process comes just in time for the team’s franchise quarterback to ramp up talks with Oakland for a contract extension.
The team gathered Monday for the start of the workouts. “I feel great,” Carr said. “I’ve been running, jumping, throwing, cutting, everything. So I’m ready to rock. I’m ready to do absolutely everything. I did everything my teammates did today. I’ll do everything my teammates will do tomorrow.
“I’m truly blessed that it wasn’t worse. It could have been a lot worse, and it wasn’t, so I’m very thankful for that and just keep praying for the guys who, that day, had the same kind of injury and still going through it.”
Carr, who helped lead the Raiders to a 12-3 start and the franchise’s first playoff appearance since the 2002 season, passed for 3,937 yards while completing 63.68 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions for a passer rating of 96.7. He finished tied with Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for third in NFL MVP voting.
Reports late last season had Carr in line for an Andrew Luck-type payday after the Indianapolis Colts’ QB signed a five-year, $123 million extension last summer. Carr said his agent Tim Younger and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie have been in constant communication.
“For me, I understand now that it’s a part of the game,” Carr said. “Forever, I was like, ‘Man, I just want to play ball. I don’t care about that.’ But, now I’m understanding what has to get done, so maybe I should care about it. I just ask questions to Tim and learning about the salary cap and these things and this and that. It’s just a lot of numbers that go over my head.
“But the communication from both sides has been great. They let me know exactly where they’re at, what they’re trying to do. We let them know where we’re at, what we’re trying to do. So it hasn’t been hard — it’s been easy.”
McKenzie said at the recent NFL owners meetings that he wanted to get Carr’s extension done after the draft. The Raiders have about $27.6 million in salary-cap space.
“We’re a family, so we’re just trying to figure all of that out,” Carr said. “They’ve been talking a little bit to build it, but I’ll let them handle that, and hopefully it just gets done before training camp. Because once football, training camp starts, I won’t even answer my phone if it has to do with that.”
Carr agreed that the numbers being talked out on a potential new contract are hard to fathom.
“It makes me just super grateful,” he said. “I know that that’s going to help a lot of people. I get overwhelmed by it because I know how many people that will help — not only with my family, my wife’s family, around this country.
“Even in Haiti, I have a heart for those people in Haiti who I love dearly, and that’s the cool thing to me is that we’ll be in a cool position to where we can help a lot of people.”
Carr was also asked about the potential of retired running back Marshawn Lynch joining the Raiders.
“He’s one heckuva football player, and I hope to play with him and those things, but again, I’m focused on the guys that are here today,” said Carr, who said he spoke with Lynch on his visit to the Raiders’ complex two weeks ago. “And I can’t say, ‘Oh, man, I hope he gets here,’ and all those things. Of course, anyone would want Marshawn Lynch. Any quarterback in the NFL … add a good player to our team? Absolutely.
“With that said, I’m focused on who’s here, and so I want to take this group and win the Super Bowl with this group that’s here. And then as we add pieces, we’ll hug them up and bring them in, just as a family, and treat them the same way that we do with all of our other teammates.”
The season is still more than four months away, but Carr joked that he had his wife tackle him a few times and wrestled with All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack in the swimming pool to get him ready for the coming hits.
“It felt like a long process, but it flew by,” he said. “I’ve broken a lot of things. I’ve torn a lot of muscles. I’ve torn a lot of ligaments. Because this one happened at such a dramatic time, because it happened to where I couldn’t play the next couple of games, it’s kind of bigger than it was … for me, the mental side is easy to defeat because it’s me vs. me, and that’s going to be a win every time.
“I did absolutely everything I could to make sure I came back better, like Kobe [Bryant] said, Come back better than ever. I wanted to make sure that thing was going to be a nonfactor when I started doing things again.”