Following nine seasons with the Raiders, Carr was released Tuesday ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline, which would have guaranteed $40.4 million in future earnings for Carr under his previous contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports. The quarterback will now immediately become a free agent for the first time in his career.
The release was expected, as Rapoport reported Sunday that Carr informed the Raiders he would not accept a trade to the New Orleans Saints or any other club. Carr had a no-trade clause in his contract, which he signed last April.
"We have a lot of respect for Derek Carr and what he has meant to the Raiders organization for the last nine years," Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Zeigler said in a statement. "Derek has done great things in this league and we're thankful to have been able to work with him this past year. He is a true professional and we appreciate his hard work in striving to produce the results we all desire. We wish Derek and his family all the best in the future."
The Saints and his former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen hosted Carr, 31, for a visit last week, opening up optimism of a potential trade, but now that optimism transfers to the quarterback possibly signing with New Orleans as a free agent.
Though the Saints are likely tops on the list of Carr suitors, they're unlikely to be the only ones given the crop of teams looking for a veteran quarterback option for the 2023 season (the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and Washington Commanders, among them).
Rapoport reported early Tuesday that Carr is expected to receive significant interest and not to be surprised if the four-time Pro Bowler takes more visits beyond his one to New Orleans.
Carr's time with the Raiders began with Allen and Co. selecting him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. It effectively ended with two games left in the 2022 campaign when McDaniels benched him.
In between, Carr passed for 35,222 yards and 217 touchdowns -- each of those franchise records by wide margins (Hall of Famer Ken Stabler's second-place numbers are 16,144 yards and 47 TDs fewer). Carr was 63-79 as a starter for the franchise. During Carr's tenure, the Raiders made just two playoff appearances -- one in 2016 with him injured and the other in a 2021 season that ended with a wild-card exit.
It's likely a new QB will be tasked to lead the Raiders going forward, but Tuesday marked the end of the Carr era for the Silver and Black.