Derek Carr brought some special guests with him Wednesday to sign his contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders.
His small entourage he rolled into Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center with consisted of his wife, Heather, and their four children. Carr told Raiders.com that it was vital to him to have his family with him front and center during his contract signing.
The Raiders franchise quarterback wanted to set an example for his children while re-committing himself to excellence going into his ninth NFL season. The message being they can do anything they set their minds to.
"I want them to see that in whatever God has called them to be – doesn't even have to be football – but if you work as hard as you can, you can accomplish things like this too," Carr said. "I didn't have all four kids last time I signed [the previous contract extension] but to have all four here this time so they can be a part of it, they can look back on this moment and say, 'If my dad did it, I can do it.' It gives them hope in whatever they want to do.
"That was special to me."
Carr noted that it was his family and his faith that propelled him through getting the deal done with the Raiders. After throwing for 23 touchdowns and over 4,800 passing yards last season, his main objective was winning as many games as he could, despite going into the last year of his contract.
"I had to have trust and have faith that this was going to get done," said Carr. "I had a feeling it was going to get done, but in business, you don't want to walk in 100 percent until it's finally finished. For me, I kept staying positive about it. We all had the same goal and obviously, everyone saw where we met and found a spot.
"I'm very well taken care of and blessed with what they gave me, but at the same time I wanted to structure it to make sure guys like Hunter [Renfrow], Foster [Moreau], Darren [Waller] and Josh [Jacobs] have their opportunity to get there's once it's time."
Along with the teammates Carr has already found chemistry with, the Raiders acquired his college teammate and best friend All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. During Carr's press conference Wednesday, he said that the two former Fresno State Bulldogs have been trying to "plot and scheme" ways of playing together in the NFL for awhile now, but were also happy at their respective teams.
The duo often found time in the offseason to train together, and this year – after two years of not meeting up due to COVID-19 – he described connecting with Adams "like riding a bike."
"I was on the phone with him a lot and we were trying to figure things out and see how we can do it," Carr told Raiders.com of the Adams trade. "At that moment I found out, I think I was at my house when finally someone told me, 'It's done.' I got a text message and was like, 'Oh my gosh, yes!' And then we immediately FaceTimed one another.
"I don't even know if we talked for the first two minutes, I think we just laughed, like, 'Can you believe this? We did it.' To be able to throw him the ball again this season and for the years to come, that's something you dream of. Now the fact we get to that do in the NFL, with the team we want to do it with, not a lot of people get to do that. We're definitely blessed and fortunate to be able to do that and hopefully we can find some of that Fresno State magic that we had back then."
With the extension, Carr remains the longest tenured AFC quarterback. While enduring ups and downs over the years, he's become a cornerstone of the franchise – holding franchise records for most career passing yards (31,700) and passing touchdowns (193). And while voluntary offseason workouts have just begun, Carr is already getting in sync with his new head coach, Josh McDaniels, and is hopeful of what they can develop together in the Silver State.
"He's smart, he's a great leader, he cares about everybody, he's honest, he's going to correct you," Carr said of McDaniels. "He doesn't care if you're the quarterback or the last guy on the roster, you're going to get coached the same. Those are the coaches I've noticed that usually have the most success so I'm excited to play for him. We showed last year what we're capable of, and with the additions we've made, you would hope that we can be even better. But you know me, that doesn't mean anything until we go out there and prove it. None of that matters.
"This offense has zero total yards, we have no points on the board. If we want to do what we say we can do, there's a lot of work we have to do this offseason first."
Take an exclusive look as quarterback Derek Carr signs a contract extension and speaks to the media.