Triple Crown wide receiver Cooper Kupp insists he is looking only for a "fair" deal with the Los Angeles Rams and is not worried about "trying to beat anybody" during a stunning offseason for players at his position.

Kupp was the NFL's dominant wideout last year in a title-winning season for the Rams.

The fifth-year star led the league in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16), also setting clear career bests in each category, to be named the Offensive Player of the Year.

He continued that form into the playoffs, with 33 receptions for 478 yards and six TDs, including two scores in the Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kupp, who is under contract through 2023, should therefore be in line for a big pay day given the deals handed out to his fellow receivers since the end of last season.

Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers to land a five-year, $140million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, before Tyreek Hill similarly departed the Kansas City Chiefs and signed for four years on a $120m deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Stefon Diggs stayed on the Buffalo Bills but was also rewarded and is set to earn $96m over four years.

Kupp, who outperformed all three players in 2021, will make just $14.9m next season, yet he insists he is not concerned by what others are doing.

"I don't think that's really kind of the approach that I take," he said.

"I definitely think there's a place you want to be. There's a place that you feel like is fair, a place for me and for this organisation.

"I'm not trying to beat anybody. I'm not trying to compare myself to anyone else. It's more about being in a place that's just right for both sides."

Other star wide receivers, including Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers, are skipping on-field offseason workouts as they pursue lucrative contracts.

But Kupp is not following suit, explaining: "I think it's important to be here, be around the guys and be around this team.

"The goal at the end of the day is to win a world title. Whatever is going to get us in a place where we can compete for another world title, put us in a better position where we can be a better football team, that's the goal.

"I think the best thing I can do is to be a part of that."

Tom Brady knows he cannot play forever but feels for now there is "still a place for me on the field".

Legendary NFL quarterback Brady is returning for another year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite announcing his retirement earlier in the offseason.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion has a single season remaining on his contract in Tampa.

Brady is 44 and will be 45 by the time the 2022 season starts. Only two quarterbacks have played in the NFL at a greater age, and Brady will surpass Steve DeBerg (44 years and 342 days) when he next takes to the field.

George Blanda's record (48 years and 95 days) remains some way ahead, however, especially as Brady acknowledges the end of his extraordinary 318-game career is nearing.

"I knew my body, physically, could still do what it could do and obviously I have a love for the game," Brady told ESPN, explaining his return. "I think I'll always have a love for the game.

"I do think physically I'll be able to do it. I just felt like there was still a place for me on the field.

"At the end of the day, I just love the competition on the field, and last year was a very bitter ending to a season and we've got to make a lot of corrections to try to improve and put ourselves in a better position to succeed moving forward.

"I know I don't have a lot left, I really do. I know I'm at the end of my career. I wish you could go forever, but it's just not [possible] and football comes at too high of a cost now. My kids are getting older and it's just getting harder and harder to miss these things.

"But I wanted to give myself and my team-mates and our organisation another incredible opportunity to accomplish something that we'd all be very proud of."

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was shocked when his top wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins.

In his six seasons in Kansas City, Hill caught 479 passes for 6,630 yards and 56 touchdowns, emerging as arguably the most dangerous receiver in the entire NFL with his unique speed and explosiveness.

Hill signed a three-year, $54million extension with the Chiefs in 2019, but after recent extensions and signings – including a 10-year, $450m contract for Mahomes, and a four-year, $80m deal for defensive lineman Chris Jones – it appeared unrealistic that Kansas City would be able to afford his demands while adhering to the salary cap.

In March, the Las Vegas Raiders made Davante Adams the highest-paid receiver in league history with a five-year, $140m deal and six days later, Hill reset the market after being traded to the Dolphins for five draft picks, including a first and second round pick this year.

Hill's four-year deal has him earning an average of $30m per year, which is a number usually reserved for quarterbacks.

Speaking to the media on Monday as the Chiefs began their offseason program, Mahomes said that while he knew it was a possibility, he was still shocked to see Hill leave.

"My initial reaction was a little bit of shock,'' he said.

"Even though you knew this was a possibility, [losing] a guy you had played with and built a friendship with over the last six years, it was definitely something [where] you didn't want him to leave more for being able to hang out in the locker room and do that stuff more than the actual on-the-field stuff.

"But you're happy for him. Obviously, he got a great contract, he's back where he has a house in the offseason around a lot of his family. I wish the best for him."

As for the problems Hill's departure creates for the Chiefs, Mahomes conceded they will have to do things a little differently.

"We've just got to keep rolling," he said. "That's just how it is in this league. 

"It's a business as much as it is about friendships. We know in order to have success in this league we have to keep evolving and keep getting better. 

"So I got with those new receivers as quickly as possible and tried to build that [chemistry] so we could have success when we get going this year.

"We'll have to find production in different ways than we did last year, because Tyreek was such a big part of our offense.

"I think you've seen in games when we haven't had Tyreek, or we haven't had certain people, other guys have stepped up and made plays happen, and I expect that to happen this year, as well.''

Denzel Ward will become the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history after agreeing to a five-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns.

Ward was drafted fourth overall by Cleveland in 2018 and has gone on to make the Pro Bowl on two occasions.

He has played 52 times for the Browns across four seasons with the franchise. He made 34 tackles and three interceptions in the 2021 campaign.

ESPN – citing Tory Dandy of CAA Sports, who negotiated the deal – reported on Monday that Ward had agreed fresh terms with the Browns, with the extension worth $100.5million. Of that, $71.25m is guaranteed.

The 24-year-old's average annual salary of $20.1million moves him above Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams, the previously highest-paid CB in the league.

Ward's new deal runs through the 2027 season though he remains under contract for $13.3m in 2022 after Cleveland exercised their fifth-year option on his old deal.

Ward joined the Browns in the same draft as quarterback Baker Mayfield, but the latter is expected to be traded before the start of the new season.

The Match will return in 2022 and this time it will pit two of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks of all time against two well on their way to assuming the same title.

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were on opposing teams in The Match IV last year, Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau beating Brady and Phil Mickelson, but the two future Hall of Famers will team up this time around.

Indeed, Brady and Rodgers will face off against two quarterbacks who are rapidly developing a compelling rivalry of their own on the field in Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes and Allen faced off in one of the best playoff games in NFL history last season as the Chiefs fought back to beat the Bills in the AFC Divisional Round 42-36 in overtime, Kansas City having led a game-tying field goal drive in just 13 seconds to force the extra period.

There is no doubt they are the future of the NFL, but the June 1 meeting in Las Vegas with Brady and Rodgers will mark the first time their golf game will be on show for a worldwide audience.

Announcing the matchup on Twitter, Brady made it clear he and Rodgers are ready to strike a blow for the NFL's old guard.

He wrote: "We tried to make this a tag team cage match but the lawyers said our contracts wouldn't allow it… #CapitalOnesTheMatch is back, June 1st. Let's kick their a**."

Marshawn Lynch feels he has achieved "something special" by becoming a minority investor in the Seattle Kraken alongside Macklemore.

Former NFL running back Lynch spent the best part of his career with the Seattle Seahawks.

He was part of the Seahawks team that won Super Bowl XLVIII, scoring a rushing touchdown in the title game as Seattle beat the Denver Broncos.

Lynch had led the NFL in rushing TDs (12) in the regular season and did so again the following year (13), again scoring in the Super Bowl but this time in a defeat to the New England Patriots.

The five-time Pro Bowler announced his retirement after the 2015 season but returned to the NFL and eventually the Seahawks, finishing his career in Seattle in 2019.

And now Lynch is again part of the sports scene in the city, with he and rapper Macklemore – a Seattle native – welcomed on board by Kraken owner Seattle Hockey Partners.

"I've been a part of a lot of things, but this is something I never would have imagined," Lynch wrote on his Twitter page.

"As a young hyena I always dreamed of playing on a professional team but owning one is something special.

"Thank you @SeattleKraken, shout out to @macklemore. Seattle, I'm here. Stand Up!!!"

The Kraken are in their inaugural season in the NHL but sit bottom of the Western Conference's Pacific Division with a 24-44-6 record.

Deebo Samuel will reportedly skip the San Francisco 49ers' on-field offseason program as he seeks a contract extension from the team.

A report from ESPN's Adam Schefter said that Samuel, A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Commanders' Terry McLaurin will not take part in on-field drills as teams return for voluntary workouts in the coming days.

All three wide receivers are entering the final year of their rookie contract having been selected on day two of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Samuel was named a first-team All-Pro in 2021 after racking up 1,405 receiving yards and six touchdowns while also thriving running the ball out of the backfield.

He averaged 6.2 yards per carry in finishing with 365 yards on 59 attempts, with his eight regular-season rushing touchdowns an NFL record for a wide receiver – two clear of Eric Metcalf's previous benchmark of six for the 1989 Cleveland Browns.

His unique role in the offense, with Samuel describing himself as a 'wide back', will undoubtedly have complicated negotiations, which have so far shown no sign of delivering a resolution.

Samuel is said to be looking for a contract in the region of $25million a year, having seen the wide receiver market explode this offseason amid a flurry of high-profile trades and lucrative free-agent contracts.

Injuries prevented Brown from recording a third successive 1,000-yard season in 2021, but his 24 receiving touchdowns are the eighth-most among wideouts since 2019.

McLaurin has 16 in that time, recording a second consecutive 1,000-yard campaign for Washington last season as they failed to repeat their NFC East triumph of 2020.

Deebo Samuel has claimed he has received death threats and been targeted with racial slurs from fans over his contract negotiations with the San Francisco 49ers.

Wide receiver Samuel is entering the final year of his contract with the 49ers having enjoyed a career year in 2021.

He was named a first-team All-Pro after racking up 1,405 receiving yards and six touchdowns while also thriving running the ball out of the backfield.

Samuel averaged 6.2 yards per carry in finishing with 365 yards on 59 attempts, with his eight regular-season rushing touchdowns an NFL record for a wide receiver – two clear of Eric Metcalf's previous benchmark of six for the 1989 Cleveland Browns.

His unique role in the offense, with Samuel describing himself as a 'wide back', will undoubtedly have complicated negotiations, which have so far shown no sign of delivering a resolution. Samuel recently deleted all references to the 49ers on his Instagram page.

The 2019 second-round pick is said to be looking for a contract in the region of $25million a year, having seen the wide receiver market explode this offseason amid a flurry of high-profile trades and lucrative free-agent contracts.

In a video on Instagram, Samuel made it clear the appalling messages he says he has received on social media have not affected him.

"For all y'all fans that's in the DM, sending death threats and racial stuff, that don't bother me," Samuel said.

"Y'all the same ones that was just hoo-rahing and 'go Deebo!', now y'all want to send death threats and all racial stuff, it don't bother me, I'm cool, I'm chilling, I'm happy."

 

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph was an "unarmed" passenger in the vehicle from which the fatal gunshot that killed a 20-year-old man was fired, according to his attorney.

Cameron Ray died on March 18 after being shot outside a Dallas area nightclub following an apparent altercation between two groups.

ESPN reported on Thursday that local police wanted to speak to Joseph, 22, in connection with the incident.

In a statement to the Dallas Morning News on Friday, Joseph's attorney Barry Sorrels said the Cowboys player was present but not involved in the violence.

"Kelvin Joseph did not shoot Cameron Ray," Sorrels said. "Mr. Ray's death is a tragedy, and Kelvin extends his deepest condolences for the family's loss. 

"On the night of March 17, Kelvin was unarmed and was not looking for violence. He found himself in a situation that escalated without his knowledge or consent. 

"Along with condolences to the Ray family, Kelvin apologises to the Dallas community for being anywhere near this type of incident. The investigation is ongoing, and we intend to respect the process."

The Cowboys also released a statement confirming their knowledge of the situation.

"The Dallas Cowboys are aware of the tragic incident that occurred in Dallas on March 18," it read.

"First and foremost, our hearts go out to Mr. Ray's family and loved ones. 

"The organisation is aware of Kelvin Joseph's possible connection to this incident. We are in contact with Dallas law enforcement and have alerted the NFL office."

Stephon Gilmore is on the move again and this time the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is joining the Indianapolis Colts.

Cornerback Gilmore will receive a two-year contract worth $23million, of which $14million is guaranteed, ESPN and NFL.com reported on Friday.

It means his stay with the Carolina Panthers has proved short-lived, after he left the New England Patriots to move to Charlotte last October.

Gilmore visited the Colts on Wednesday, with the 31-year-old five-time Pro Bowl star leaving Carolina after playing just eight games for the franchise.

The 10th overall pick in 2012, when he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, Gilmore moved to New England in March 2017 and helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in his second season.

Gilmore was crucial in that Super Bowl success, with his interception clinching New England's 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, a year after they were beaten in the championship game by the Philadelphia Eagles.

He took Defensive Player of the Year honours in 2019, and after playing 11 games in the following season he moved on to the Panthers.

Sidelined by a torn quad initially, Gilmore was activated in Week 8 and started three of the remaining games as Carolina finished the 2021 season with seven straight losses.

Police want to speak with Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kelvin Joseph regarding a shooting murder that took place in the Dallas area in March, according to reports.

Joseph, a 2020 second-round pick by the Cowboys, allegedly appeared to be part of a group that was involved in an altercation with another group containing 20-year-old victim Cameron Ray.

Footage shows gunshots being fired out of an SUV at Ray and his friends as they walked back to their car after the initial scuffle.

One of the people seen in the video was allegedly wearing a chain with the initials YKDV. Joseph goes by the name YKDV Bossman Fat in his aspiring rap career.

The Cowboys did not have an official comment, however ESPN is reporting that the team have spoken with Joseph and are encouraging him to cooperate with police and disclose what he knows about the case.

Detective Tonya McDaniel told KDFW that Ray's group was not responsible for the initial incident, which led to the shooting.

The $518,000 sale of Tom Brady's 'last' touchdown pass football has been mutually voided after the greatest quarterback in NFL history reneged on retirement.

In what seemed like an unbelievable stroke of misfortune for the buyer, Brady spectacularly announced his return to the game less than 24 hours after the purchase was finalised, although money was yet to exchange hands.

Brady's decision not to retire came 40 days after initially announcing his playing career was over in late-January, causing chaos in the sports collectible world.

But the anonymous buyer has been spared the devastating blow as Lelands Auctions – who facilitated the sale – announced on Thursday that the purchase had been voided by a mutual agreement.

"We wanted to do the right thing here," Mike Heffner, president and partner at Lelands, said.

"It's the most unique situation that we'll probably ever encounter in our lifetimes – at least when it comes to sports memorabilia. We're still not to the end of the book yet; we've written a chapter."

While the ball may not be Brady's last ever touchdown pass, it is for the time being, and Heffner said the owner still plans on selling it privately through Lelands.

"All parties were waiting to see how it played out," he said.

"Tom Brady, let's face it, is kind of unpredictable these days. Until he throws that first touchdown pass in September, this ball is still the record."

The NFL Draft is rarely dominated by teams in contention to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the upcoming season.

Though trades regularly shuffle the pack, more often than not the draft headlines are made by teams who finished at the wrong end of the regular-season standings in the previous campaign, such is the nature of league's annual selection meeting.

While those franchises with rosters capable of contending to go all the way to the Super Bowl may not be as reliant on the draft as those rebuilding their teams, the selections they make can be critical in providing the potential final piece of what they hope will be a championship-winning puzzle.

Inevitably, not every team expected to contend in April will do so once the season gets under way in September.

Yet we can make educated guesses as to which teams will be in the mix to go deep into the postseason in each conference.

Here Stats Perform has identified four such teams from each conference, with the Cleveland Browns omitted from the list due to the threat of a possible suspension for new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

With help from some advanced metrics, we look at what each of these eight teams need to add in the draft to maximise their hopes of standing underneath the confetti in Arizona next February.

NFC

Los Angeles Rams

Identifying draft needs for the Rams is a difficult task not because they don't have any, but because they so often fill their holes by trading away their picks to land superstars.

This year, the Rams don't pick until 104 overall in the third round, not that the Super Bowl champions will mind skipping the first two rounds.

When it finally comes to their turn, the interior of the offensive line stands out as an area of weakness, while the Rams might also be eyeing an edge rusher to help fill the void left by Von Miller, whose stunt-adjusted pass rush win percentage of 43.4 was fifth among edge rushers with at least 100 one-on-one matchups last year.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are in a similar position to the Rams in that they don't have a lot of needs, though the urgency is greater for a team that let a fourth-quarter lead slip against Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game.

Right guard has been a long-standing issue for San Francisco, and the Niners will also need to find a developmental center to replace Alex Mack when he eventually retires. Nebraska's Cam Jurgens is a name to watch there.

San Francisco do not pick until 61st overall in the second round, having traded this year's first-rounder in the package that landed Trey Lance. A defense that ranked first in pass rush win rate could be stacked further by another edge rusher to pair with Nick Bosa, and there is a clear need next to Jimmie Ward at safety.

Of course, what would really make it a successful draft for the Niners would be finally trading Jimmy Garoppolo to secure more picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's a theme here, and the theme is that trying to find needs for NFC contenders is tough, especially in the case of the Bucs, who brought back Tom Brady after he quickly got bored with retirement and re-signed a host of free agents many expected to depart.

With Todd Bowles assuming the head coaching reins from Bruce Arians, it's fair to anticipate a focus on the defense from the Bucs, who own the 27th pick in the first round as well as two other top-100 selections.

More beef on the interior of the defensive line is required with Ndamukong Suh as yet not re-signed and, though Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have signed as safety help to atone for Jordan Whitehead's departure, a rookie who can make a difference down in the box and in coverage would be a welcome addition to the defense.

Green Bay Packers

Now this is more like it. The Packers have one glaring, obvious need and there's no way they can fail to address it, right?

Brian Gutekunst may have a history of eschewing first-round wide receivers but, after trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, it would be an extremely bemusing move to risk Aaron Rodgers' wrath and do so again.

Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson... they all must be in the mix here and, with two selections in the first round, the Packers could even double up at the position.

There are other holes. The secondary could use some more quality depth, and an offensive line that ranked 28th in run-block win rate could also be improved, but the Packers' hopes of getting over the hump in 2022 likely rest on their ability to give Rodgers weapons that mitigate the impact of Adams' stunning departure.

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs

After Patrick Mahomes faced the most pressures in a Super Bowl since 2006 in consecutive years (28 in SB LIV, 34 in SB LV), the Chiefs overhauled their offensive line heading into 2021 and were confident they were on course for the title game once again – only for Mahomes' own stunning playoff collapse to end both the team's season and the career of Tyreek Hill in Kansas City.

Hill's departure in a trade to the Miami Dolphins leaves a gaping hole.

New signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling at least offers a downfield option, but that was his sole responsibility with the Packers in 2021, recording a league-high average depth of target of 17.6 yards but making just 26 catches. Valdes-Scantling and fellow recruit JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's coming off shoulder surgery, have just one 1,000-yard season between them; Hill has four.

Thankfully, the Hill deal means the Chiefs have plenty of draft picks – two in each of the first three rounds – and plenty of options at wide receiver, but safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward must also be replaced just to get Kansas City back to where they started.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a year behind the Chiefs, beaten in the Super Bowl after leaving their quarterback horribly exposed. Joe Burrow faced 23 pressures against the Rams, tied for third-most since 2006.

Like the Chiefs, they quickly set about bolstering their O line in free agency, though there remains a pressing need at left guard. Ted Karras played there for the New England Patriots last year, but is set to move back into center after Trey Hopkins was cut.

That versatility at least gives the Bengals options at either position depending on how the draft plays out, with their first pick not until the end of the first round (31). In fact, given competition at cornerback, edge and/or tight end could also be sought, the Bengals may be flexible throughout.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are the Super Bowl favourites, and with good reason. They were a coin flip away from beating the Chiefs and would have backed themselves against the Bengals, which might have quelled some of the optimism in Cincinnati channelled above. Buffalo have also added Super Bowl champion Miller to a defense that gave up a league-low 4.57 yards per play.

That's not to say there don't remain areas for improvement, with cornerback an obvious place to start. Tre'Davious White is returning from an ACL tear, and the Bills need a new man opposite him, given the loss of Levi Wallace.

The Bills might also be advised to ease the burden on all-action quarterback Josh Allen with the addition of a reliable running back. Allen ranked third among QBs for rushing yards in 2021 (763) but accounted for 34.5 per cent of his team's total – far and away the greatest share at his position.

Second on the list was former MVP Lamar Jackson (767 yards, 30.9 per cent), who's already showing signs of wear and tear having been tasked with running the Baltimore Ravens' offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Outside the Packers, the Chargers perhaps have the most obvious positional need of any contender at right tackle – despite their own strong signings so far.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater was their first-round pick in 2021 and earned Pro Bowl recognition in his rookie season. Among offensive tackles with 200 or more pass protection snaps, Slater's stunt-adjusted win percentage of 90.5 ranked third. However, that stood in complete contrast to right tackle Storm Norton, whose 63.0 per cent ranked third-last.

Norton was brought in to play 15 games after a back injury put Bryan Bulaga on injured reserve. Bulaga has now been cut, and the Chargers surely cannot run it back with Norton.

The very best OTs in the draft are unlikely to still be available when the Chargers get to work in the middle of the first round, but it's no surprise to see them widely linked with Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning.

Baker Mayfield has said he feels "disrespected" by the Cleveland Browns, and insists he is "ready for the next step" in his career.

The number one draft pick from 2018 is under contract for 2022 at $18.9million – fully guaranteed – with Cleveland picking up his fifth-year option last year.

However, the Browns appeared to move on from Mayfield as their starter when trading a significant package of draft picks to the Houston Texans to acquire Deshaun Watson.

The franchise also picked up former Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Josh Dobbs from free agency last week, leaving Mayfield's future in further doubt.

Speaking to the YNK podcast on Wednesday, Mayfield said: “I feel disrespected... I was told one thing and they completely did another."

Mayfield suggested that the Seattle Seahawks were "probably the most likely option" for him after they traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, insisting: "I'm ready for the next chapter.

"I really, truly, honestly have no regrets of my time in Cleveland of what I tried to give to that place. True Clevelanders and true Browns fans know that."

Mayfield arrived in a Browns team that had gone 0-16 the year prior, improving them to 7-8-1 in his first campaign, and taking them to their first playoff victory in 26 years in his third.

However, a difficult 2021 season would follow, suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2 against the Houston Texans, before being booed during the home victory against the Detroit Lions in Week 11.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that I got caught up in all the negativity and stuff during the year last year," he added. "I was trying to be tough and fight through [the injury], but then physically I wasn't as capable of doing what I would normally [do].

"When I wasn't performing on the field, that's when it really started to go downhill. Because I can tough it out, I don't care, I'm not going to complain about it, like everybody is banged up. But then when it started hindering my play and going downhill, that's when I was like, 'oh s***'.

"That's when I started losing my own self-confidence and losing myself. This past year was rough. It was. It was rough on me, my family. It sucked because I knew what I could be doing, but I physically wasn't in a state to do it."

Mayfield had just 17 passing touchdowns to his name (one rushing TD) in the 2021 campaign, his lowest during his four years in Cleveland, though he did end the season with a better pass completion percentage than in 2019 (60.5 to 59.4), as well as throwing fewer interceptions (13) than in either of his first two seasons (14 in 2018, 21 in 2019).  

"I know what I need to do for me to be the best version of me and be able to lead an organisation," he added. "I'm in a good place right now."

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed quarterback Derek Carr to a three-year contract extension worth $121.5million.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders have agreed to a contract with Carr that will keep him with the team through the 2025 season.

It means Carr will earn $141.3m over four years, the deal coming in an offseason that has seen the Raiders make a big statement of their intent to build around him.

The Raiders hired Josh McDaniels, renowned as one of the league's best offensive minds, as their new head coach and then reunited Carr with college team-mate Davante Adams, acquiring the All-Pro wide receiver in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers.

Las Vegas also signed veteran edge rusher Chandler Jones in a significant boost to the defense, the Raiders stacking the deck around Carr as they look to secure a first playoff win since the 2002 season.

Carr led the Raiders to the playoffs last season, Las Vegas losing in the Wild Card round to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 2021 campaign was arguably the finest of his career.

Among quarterbacks with at least 200 pass attempts, Carr finished third in well-thrown percentage. Trailing only Joe Burrow and Ryan Tannehill, he delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 81.6 per cent of his passes.

None of the eight quarterbacks to average more air yards per attempt than Carr's 8.29 had a superior well-thrown percentage, his ability to blend ball placement and downfield upside further illustrated by his 67 completions of 20 yards or more in 2021. Tom Brady (75) was the sole quarterback to end the season with more.

Carr will hope to build on those impressive numbers in 2022 and vindicate his lucrative new contract, which is reported to contain a no-trade clause, essentially meaning he would be able to pick his new team if the Raiders decide to part with him in the coming years.

But by signing Carr to such a high-income extension, the Raiders are banking on such a divorce never coming to pass.

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