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Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says contract talks with QB Derek Carr yet to begin but could start anytime

INDIANAPOLIS -- While Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is primed to enter the final year of the then-record five-year, $125 million contract extension he signed in 2017, new head coach Josh McDaniels acknowledged Wednesday at the combine that no new extension talks have taken place.

"But that doesn't mean that's not going to change," McDaniels said. "We are aware of where we're at on that, in that process."

Rather, McDaniels said, he has been focusing on getting his new staff assembled since being hired by owner Mark Davis on Jan. 31.

"I've met and spoken to Derek a number of times now," McDaniels said. "Just trying to begin our relationship. I think it's really an important one -- the head coach, the playcaller, the quarterback, getting to know one another as people. Kind of how we think. How we work. The football part of that will come later, which I think is also an important part of the puzzle."

Carr, who turns 31 on March 28, is coming off a career-high 4,804 passing yards, though his 23 touchdown passes were only nine more than his career-high 14 interceptions, and he was sacked 40 times, the second-highest total of his eight-year career.

And despite the inordinate amount of turmoil the Raiders experienced both on and off the field last season, Las Vegas went 10-7 and Carr played in the postseason for the first time in his career.

Carr, who last summer said he would "probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else" and would "rather go down with the ship," insisted after the wild-card round loss at the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals that he was not a "face-to-face guy" when it came to negotiations and that his "message will be talked about" when it came time.

The Raiders seemingly have three choices when it comes to Carr and the 2022 season: 1) Simply guarantee the $19.8-plus million remaining on his deal and see if he would honor the final year of the contract, with the potential of a bigger payday or $35 million or so franchise tag on the other end; 2) Sign him to an extension before seeing if Carr and McDaniels truly mesh, basically sight unseen; 3) Entertain trade offers and start fresh.

Backup Marcus Mariota is scheduled to be a free agent.

"[I'm] really happy with the opportunity that I've had to get to know him," McDaniels said of Carr. "He's there in Nevada. He stays there in Nevada, so we're aware of where things are and, again, as I said when I was introduced [as coach], I'm really looking forward to working with him. He's won a lot of games. I feel good about what we can do with Derek as our quarterback."