As the 2019 NFL is coming to a close, speculation is starting to grow that the Oakland Raiders could be ready to move on from quarterback Derek Carr. The team had to deal with this speculation last offseason and they’re going to have to deal with it again this offseason. With Patrick Mahomes sharing a division with the Raiders, it’s easy to see why the team would have quarterback envy. Carr is not at the same level as Mahomes and never will be. However, there aren’t many quarterbacks in the NFL who are.
“When a better opportunity presents itself, Jon Gruden is gonna move on,” said Cowherd. “I would say, be very careful, Jon. Patrick Mahones is gonna drive you crazy, but Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback and depending on the Sunday, he’s maybe 11th, 12th best [quarterback] in this league. It is remarkable how few teams are truly happy with their quarterback.”
Cowherd has been one of Carr’s biggest supporters throughout the years and he’s correct, the Raiders need to exercise caution when evaluating the quarterback position.
Franchise QBs Don’t Grow on Trees
Cowherd goes onto talk about how there are only a handful of teams that are completely content with their quarterback situation. He also warned the Raiders about letting go of Carr.
“Be careful, Jon Gruden,” Cowherd said. “Outside of Rich Gannon for about an hour and a half, you haven’t liked any of your quarterbacks long-term. It’s hard to find them, it’s hard to develop them, it’s hard to find the right offensive line to protect them, it’s… increasingly expensive to get the weapons to elevate them. Be very careful on Derek Carr.”
You shouldn’t need to tell the Raiders that finding a franchise quarterback in the draft is far from a sure thing. This is the team that drafted Todd Marinovich and JaMarcus Russell with first-round picks. Carr has not been perfect, but there may not be a better option for the Raiders. Perhaps the best thing to do is draft a promising rookie and let him sit behind Carr.
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Who Could Replace Carr?
There’s only one quarterback hitting free agency in 2020 who should really interest the Raiders and that’s Teddy Bridgewater. His highly efficient short game is exactly what Gruden has shown to like in the past. However, he may want to stay in New Orleans if the Saints promise that he’ll be Drew Brees’ replacement when he retires. Other than that, it’s hard to imagine Gruden would prefer Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota to Carr.
If the team decides to look to the draft, there could be some options. CBS Sports actually predicts the Raiders to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 18th pick in the first round. Gruden may not want to use one his first-round picks on a quarterback he plans to sit for a while. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts figures to be available later in the draft. Perhaps the Raiders trade a couple of their third-round picks to get into the second round to draft Hurts.