Finally, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr feels like he’s back where he belongs.
Carr, who suffered a broken leg on Christmas Eve day in the Raiders’ next-to-last regular-season game of 2016, was back on the practice field with the full roster for the first time Tuesday in the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp.
After surgery and months of rehab, Carr was wearing a helmet again and running the Oakland offense Tuesday with all his old teammates and several new ones. He’s been a part of offseason conditioning and organized team activities, but this felt like a much bigger step.
“The hardest part was taking the first rep because the last rep you remember was like, ‘Oh snap, I broke this thing,’ ” Carr told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “But as soon as the ball was snapped, it was a blessing. It kind of all went away.”
Carr believes he’s 100 percent good to go for the 2017 season. He said he always believed he’d come back healthy, with no problems from the injury, but all the time on the sideline wasn’t enjoyable.
“Now I’m just playing ball again, but leading up to it, I think that was the worst part. … the lead-up, all the rehab,” he said, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. “It was like, ‘Man, when am I ever going to be able to do this again.’ It felt like it was never going to happen.”
Now the next hurdle for Carr and the Raiders is to lock down a contract extension. Carr has said he’d like to get it done by the start of training camp in late July, so he can simply focus on the season without any distractions.
Speculation is, Carr’s deal could bring him as much as $25 million per year. But, so far, general manager Reggie McKenzie has remained quiet publicly about negotiations.