Rob Issa, FISM News
Derek Carr is back at the Las Vegas Raiders facility for the Pro Bowl Games this week even though he’ll be playing for a new team next year.
Carr was benched before the end of the season and already said goodbye to the organization that drafted him. But the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback is participating in the revamped all-star event this week in Las Vegas.
He made it clear Thursday that he will not extend the Feb. 15 deadline to help facilitate a trade. If the Raiders don’t trade or release Carr by that date, his contract will become guaranteed and the team will have to pay him $40.4 million over the next two years.
“I don’t think that would be best for me,” Carr said about extending the deadline.
The Raiders have not given Carr or his agent permission to speak with other teams regarding a potential deal, making it likely he will be released within three days after the Super Bowl.
“I’m just abiding by the rules,” Carr said. “If it gets to that date, then it gets to that date, and I’ll be able to talk to all my friends.”
Carr excelled in the skills competition portion of the Pro Bowl Games on Thursday. He played nine seasons for the Raiders and set franchise records for career yards passing (35,222) and touchdown passes (217).
He sought advice from Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who is coaching the AFC squad this week. Manning was released from the Colts in 2012 and went on to lead Denver to a Super Bowl victory.
“He’s like, ‘Man, it was kind of surreal in the moment. Like, wow, you can’t even believe it. But then you just go to the next place and you move on and do your best there,'” Carr said. “It’s nice to hear that from someone who I think is the best to play the game.”
Carr has never won a playoff game so he’s hoping to join a winning organization next.
“I’m just looking for teams that have made that decision consistently that they’ll do whatever it takes to put a winning program out there,” Carr said. “So for me, that’s just to win, win a championship. That’s at the forefront of the mind. It’s not money.”
Despite being angry at the Raiders for benching him to pave the way to get rid of his contract, Carr holds no grudges. He plans to participate in future events after his playing career is over.
LEANING ON FAITH IN CHRIST
Carr has leaned on his Christian faith in uncertain moments over the past month.
“I’m a little fired up this past couple weeks. I’ve gone through some stuff a little bit, right? And I found out that nothing can get me down … For the Spirit of God breaks it free, and says, we don’t need to worry about that,” Carr said at a church event in Las Vegas.
I said, ‘Lord, what is it that you’re trying to reveal to me in this season? Lord, what is it you’re trying to do in my heart in this season?’ Patience, forgiveness … How? In my presence. It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable. But we got to get out of this place of this comfortableness, in this captivity.”
The NFL has a new Pro Bowl format this year after replacing the traditional game with a flag football contest and a series of other skills events.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attended most of Thursday’s events at the Raiders’ facility.