The Oakland Raiders enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2016 thanks in large part to their Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr, who has quickly become one of the leagues top young signal-callers. But as the Raiders prepare to build off their 12-4 campaign, Carrs contract situation has become a distraction something the 26-year-old wants to avoid heading into next season.
So Carr, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, wants the ongoing extension talks to produce results soon, telling reporters Tuesday that if a deal isnt reached by training camp in July then he wants the negotiations tabled until the offseason.
I wouldnt even answer my phone, Carr said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal, when asked about contract negotiations extending past training camp. The money isnt the thing that drives. If it was, then I shouldnt be standing here. What drives me is making sure Im giving everything I have in my abilities and making sure that we win. I dont want anything distracting my thought process at all. Its not a jab or anything like that. Thats just me saying, Im not going to deal with anything thats not helping me focusing on winning.
Carr, who was taken in the second round by Oakland in 2014, has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards each of his past two seasons. He completed a career-high 64 percent of his passes last year, throwing for 28 touchdowns and a career-low six interceptions.
Carrs 2016 season ended abruptly after he suffered a broken fibula in the Raiders Week 16 win over the Colts. He said earlier this offseason that his leg feels stronger after the surgery.
I actually feel stronger which is weird; its like more bionic now, I guess, Carr said in March, via the team's website. I feel stronger. I feel more driven, and thats always a good thing around this time of year For me, Im more driven now than I ever have been, if that was possible, and I guess it is, so Im trying to dominate my recovery, and come back stronger than ever, that way, when we hit the football field, were a better football team, and thats whats important to me.