Derek Carr Talks 'Elephant' in the Room Antonio Brown After Raiders Departure

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15:  Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders talk on the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr holds no ill will toward former teammate Antonio Brown following a summer full of drama. 

Carr addressed the "elephant" in the room after Monday night's season-opening 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos, per Pro Football Talk's Curtis Crabtree:

"Let's get the elephant out of the room. Antonio is no longer with us. We love Antonio. We wish him the best, but we knew with the guys we had in our locker room we already had a good football team. If he wanted to be a part of it, awesome. If he didn't, awesome. We're going to come out here and we still have to play a game. We wish him the best. I hope he goes off and has a great year. But the guys in this locker room, the guys that competed during training camp, all offseason, we grinded and came together. We're a family, and this family is pretty special and I'm glad the quarterback is a part of it."

He had previously declined to talk to the media in the immediate aftermath of Brown's release on Saturday. Monday night marked Oakland's first game since the saga came to an end.

After being acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, Brown found himself in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons in the weeks leading up to the regular season. He dealt with frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear in a cryotherapy machine. He also went head-to-head with the NFL over what helmet he could wear on the field.

The 31-year-old was nearly suspended after he "got into it" with general manager Mike Mayock last Wednesday after publicly calling out the organization for fining him. Though the Raiders declined to suspend him, they did fine him, which voided the guaranteed money in his contract.

That resulted in Brown demanding his release on Saturday, which was granted. He later signed with the New England Patriots

In a video posted by Brown, Oakland coach Jon Gruden called Brown "the most misunderstood f--king human being" he'd ever met. So even though it would appear the Raiders may have plenty of reasons to be upset with their former star, many within the organization are taking the high road, including Carr, per NBC Sports' Scott Bair:

"I love AB. He knows that. I spent lots of time with him. I can go on, but he's not here. He's with someone else, and I wish him the best. I hope he goes off, and gets everything he wants. I sent him a text saying that. 

"There's no hurt feelings. There's no anger in me. There wasn't any anger in me when I found out, to he honest with you, despite what people wrote. Some people saw me right after and thought I was mad about that, when [PR staffer Evert Geerlings] will tell you we were talking about something totally different. Again, when you don't have all the details and you just write something about me, I don’t like that.

"He's gone. I wish him the best."

Brown's absence didn't seem to affect Carr on the field too much on Monday. The Raiders star completed 22-of-26 pass attempts against the Broncos for 259 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions in a season-opening victory.