Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finalized a five-year contract extension Thursday that will keep him with the team through the 2022 season.
The big question: Does that mean Matthew Stafford is next?
Speculation has swirled this offseason about Stafford, who has one year and $16.5 million left on his current contract.
Carr tweeted that an agreement had been reached to add five years to his current rookie deal that expires after this season. The contract will be worth $125 million, according to NFL Network.
That is the richest annual value contract in NFL history, beating out the $24.8 million per year Andrew Luck got from Indianapolis.
It also is expected to be surpassed soon by Stafford.
“The Stafford contract clearly will take it the next step higher,” an NFL agent told the Washington Post. “Whatever Carr gets, Stafford will get more.”
Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Sunday on Sirius XM radio: “Always have positive thinking. But I’ve said this a bunch of times. It takes two sides to do a deal, and I feel confident that we’ll get something done.”
Quinn also said he believes the team and Stafford will reach a deal “eventually.”
Stafford, 29, threw for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2016.
Stafford said in April he’d like to remain with the Lions for a long time: “I’d love to. I’ve had a really good time playing here, and I’d like to be here long term, but that’s yet to be seen.”
Carr was scheduled to enter the final year of his rookie contract. Carr had imposed a deadline of the start of training camp in late July.
Carr has transformed the Raiders from a perennial loser into a contender after being drafted in the second round in 2014. He was part of a stellar draft class led by AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack and third-round guard Gabe Jackson, who have been key to Oakland’s turnaround.
He lost his first 10 starts as a rookie before winning seven games his second year and taking the Raiders to the playoffs in 2016 with a 12-4 record. Carr missed the final game of that season and the playoff loss to Houston with a broken leg.
But he’s healed now and a major reason why the Raiders are the preseason favorites to win the AFC West and contenders to dethrone the New England Patriots as the top team in the conference.
Carr has thrown for 11,194 yards in his first three seasons and ranks fourth all-time with 81 touchdown passes through three years, trailing only Dan Marino, Luck and Peyton Manning. He has shown dramatic improvement each season in his career after an up-and-down rookie campaign when he threw 21 TD passes, but averaged only 5.5 yards per attempt.