How Derek Carr is rationalizing that threatening Tom Brady photo

Derek Carr doesn’t feel threatened by Tom Brady’s suspicious tête-à-tête with Raiders owner Mark Davis.

A viral photo of the six-time Super Bowl champion chatting with Davis at UFC 246 sent the football world into a tailspin this weekend, igniting theories that Brady could be headed to Las Vegas next season.

“I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium,” Carr told ESPN this week. “And I look forward to taking every snap from here on out, until I’m done.

“I mean, there was a lot of quarterbacks at [the Conor McGregor-Donald Cerrone fight], and there was a lot of football players at that fight that are free agents, and it’s like, every time with my job, it’s always a story, no matter what. And knowing some people that were around, I even know what the conversation was [between Davis and Brady], and it’s like, ‘c’mon, man, when’s it going to end?’”

The 42-year old Patriots quarterback is set to become a free agent this offseason for the first time in his 20-year career. After the team’s season ended abruptly in the wild-card round against the Titans, Brady posted a lengthy Instagram message that read, “I still have more to prove.”

Brady’s desire to continue playing is clear, but for which team remains murky. During his weekly interview with Westwood One radio on Sunday, he said he was, “open-minded” about leaving the Patriots.

“I love playing football and I want to continue to play and do a great job,” Brady said. “I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I’ll embrace it with open arms.”

Tom Brady, Mark Davis, UFC 246
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady chats with Raiders’ owner Mark Davis at UFC 246.Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

There is as a stipulation in his most recent contract extension that restricts the team from exercising the franchise tag. He stands to earn upwards of $30 million on the open market if he and the team cannot come to an agreement by March 18.  Until then, other teams are barred from speaking with Brady regarding any kind of contract per league tampering rules.

“That was about Tom was going to fight [Manny] Pacquiao here to open the stadium,” Davis joked in a half-hearted attempt to dispel the notion that he had tried to woo Brady during the weekend’s UFC card.

Carr, 28, inked a five-year, $125 million contract extension in 2017. On Wednesday, he took part in the official ceremony to rename the franchise to the “Las Vegas Raiders” in front of the team’s brand new, $2 billion Allegiant Stadium. After the Raiders’ final home game in Oakland on Dec. 16, fans booed their sixth-year signal caller after losing to the Jaguars, 20-16. His dead cap hit drops from $27.5 million in 2019 to $5 million in 2020, which means the Raiders would create an additional $16.5 million in extra cap space, according to Spotrac, should they decide to move on from Carr.

“All of these things that [you would think] everyone would be like, ‘Yes, we’re going the right way. Everything’s getting better, and we know where we need to add things and where we [need] help.’ You would think that that would be the story.

“But that’s not how it works. And I understand that now,” Carr said. “Especially when people are seen with certain people. It’s like, ‘Oh, gosh. Well, I was at dinner with [Davis] last night. Does that count for anything?’ Golly. It’s just funny. But I’m used to it now.”

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