Raiders hold upper hand in Derek Carr contract

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr speaks on his three-year contract extension during a press confe ...

Hello, sweet spot.

The Raiders and Derek Carr finally arrived at such a place Wednesday when the team and veteran quarterback agreed to a three-year contract extension.

Fact: It’s a whole lot sweeter for the organization.

The good part for Carr is that he can earn up to $121.5 million should he play out the life of the deal. The great part for the team is that it has reportedly only guaranteed $25 million for the upcoming season. There is also a $7.5 million signing bonus.

Carr’s salary in 2023 ($33 million) isn’t guaranteed until three days after the Super Bowl, which means the team has left itself a mighty big out if things on the field don’t go as planned. It can simply move on from him. It would own all leverage.

Which means there is no way new general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels are sold on the idea that Carr can absolutely lead the franchise to a Super Bowl. You don’t structure an extension this way if so.

I’m sure they want him to be that good. I’m sure they want him to win big.

I’m also sure, given the amount of guaranteed money (which is the only thing that matters in these cases) they have some major reservations until proven otherwise.

Nine years later, Carr is in a place where he’s auditioning for his future.

He is — by agreeing to such a deal — betting on himself.

To the point that Carr on Wednesday even suggested he would have played out the final year of his contract had an extension not been agreed upon.

“I’ve only wanted to be a Raider,” Carr said. “I told my agent, ‘I’m either going to be a Raider or I’m going to be playing golf.’ I don’t want to play anywhere else. That’s how much this place means to me. I was dead serious.

“I had one year left on my contract. If it was one year, it was going to be one year. Thankfully, it will be four more. Hopefully, we can build on that and I can finish and do what I set out to do nine years ago — win a championship.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.