The Oakland Raiders have drafted pretty well over the last few years, which is a stark contrast for most of their post-2000 drafts.
But with good drafting eventually comes the challenge of re-signing these quality players to fair contracts, and Oakland has to do that with its two best players after this season, quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack.
The Raiders probably will prioritize their franchise quarterback, per ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, but it might not be for the reason you think.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Raiders are currently expected to focus on signing Carr before Mack,” Florio wrote Thursday. “The reason is simple; the Raiders have the ability to extend Mack’s four-year deal to five, given that he was a first-round pick. And they surely will do so before the May 3 deadline for exercising the fifth-year option.”
Even without the differences in their contracts based on where they were drafted, focusing on Carr first makes more sense.
Let’s face it, the NFL is a quarterback league, and it’s nearly impossible to win the Super Bowl without a good one.
Carr, who has a $733,346 salary in 2016, is having an MVP-caliber season. He’s thrown for 3,375 yards with 24 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 65.5 completion percentage. His excellent play is among the primary reasons why the Raiders entered their Week 14 “Thursday Night Football” matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs atop the AFC at 10-2.
Mack is a game-changer, too, and he’s likely going to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award this season. Still, he’s not as valuable as Carr.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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