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Derek Carr contract shows the quarterback tax will always get you

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NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL media is a fickle mistress, in this day and age where quarterbacks are king, paying one seems to be a hot topic.

When you look at the top paid quarterbacks in the NFL, two names should be at the top, but they are not.

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are the best two quarterbacks in the league year in and year out, yet their base salaries rank seventh and 14th respectively

Why? Well, as I've talked about before, you always end up paying the quarterback tax.

You look around the league, the highest paid quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco. Only Brees has consistently been a top performer and none have been yearly playoff participants.

So why are so many so highly paid? Because if you don't have one, you are worse.

Pissing away great defenses like the Broncos and Texans.

You pay in missed opportunities.

If you want to get better, you take risks and invest top picks in quarterbacks, Jacksonville and Chicago.

When you miss, you not only pay in draft capital, but in losses.

If you have a player you think you can win with, there's no cost too high.

Palmer isn't worth his contract in a vacuum, he's not the third best quarterback in the NFL, but the Cardinals and their fans understand, he's absolutely, 100%, without question the best option at quarterback they have. He gives them a shot to compete. To fans, there's nothing they won't pay for that.

For front offices and coaching staffs, they love being able to compete.

You pay for that.

Maybe Derek Carr is never the best quarterback in the NFL and worth his $25 million.

Yet, after the last 13 years, I'm sure no Raiders fan is going to complain about having a quarterback that allows you to compete.