After being benched for the final two weeks of the regular season amid rumors about a potential trade, Derek Carr has sent a goodbye message to Las Vegas Raiders fans.
In a message posted on Twitter, Carr wrote that he is "so grateful and appreciative" for the support he and his family have received during his nine years with the Raiders.
Carr's message came out after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders are getting ready to start the process of evaluating the trade market for the 31-year-old.
Head coach Josh McDaniels announced on Dec. 28 that Jarrett Stidham would start the final two games of the regular season. Carr and the Raiders agreed he would step away from the team at that point to avoid being a distraction.
While McDaniels said the decision to go with Stidham was to "evaluate a younger player who hasn't had much time to play," it was also done to ensure Carr didn't suffer an injury that would impact his contract.
The Athletic's Vic Tafur noted Carr's $33 million base salary in 2023 and $7.5 million of his salary in 2024 was guaranteed for injury.
The Raiders will only be on the hook for $5.625 million in dead money next season if they trade or release Carr. He will likely have significant input on any potential trade destination because his deal includes a full no-trade clause.
After finishing this season with a 6-11 record, the Raiders own the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. They are currently projected to have $20.85 million in cap space this offseason, but that figure includes Carr's $34.9 milion cap hit.
The Raiders will save $29.35 million against the cap if they trade or release Carr. They do need to move quickly if they are going to make a move, because his 2023 base salary becomes fully guaranteed on Feb. 15, three days after the Super Bowl.
Carr is coming off arguably the worst season of his career. He threw for 3,522 yards with 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 60.8 completion percentage in 15 games.