There have been many rumors about the Oakland Raiders being ready to move on from Derek Carr since Jon Gruden, but the most substantial one yet has been released. According to Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports, the team may move on from their long-time starting quarterback to try and find a player with more upside.
The Raiders could be moving on from starting quarterback Derek Carr this offseason, with several team sources sensing a growing frustration with the veteran by the coaching staff, and concerns about how much potential for growth remains.
La Canfora claims to have spoken to sources close to Gruden and apparently they believe the coach is going to take a hard look at the newest rookie quarterbacks who are coming into the NFL. This would be a change for Gruden as he’s never used a high draft pick on a quarterback before. He’s had his greatest success with veterans in the past.
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Carr Lacks Upside
Gruden and Carr have a solid relationship, the sources said, but there are concerns about not extending plays with the legs when possible, and Oakland has also struggled to push the ball downfield. Carr has been quite accurate — completing 70 percent of his passes — but the bulk of the work goes to tight ends and running backs, and he isn’t by nature a gunslinger or a big-time playmaker; those characteristics resonate heavily with Gruden.
After a hot start to the season, it seemed like Carr was set to be the quarterback of the future. Then the team lost four games in a row and Carr looked bad at many points during them. Unlike how he looked in the 2016 season, the quarterback hasn’t had that killer instinct that he once had.
“I don’t believe Jon sees enough high-end upside there, and at this point you would have to think Carr is what he is,” said one source who knows Gruden quite well, via La Canfora.
Raiders Should Tread Lightly
A lot of the report from La Canfora seems like speculation from sources who know Jon Gruden. While that could be indicative of what’s to come, nobody seems to truly know what the coach is going to do. It’s almost a foregone conclusion he’s going to do his homework on the top quarterbacks in the draft. He did that last and he’ll probably continue to do it until he has an elite talent throwing the ball for him.
The Raiders just need to be careful during this process. Carr may not be Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes, but he’s good enough to lead a talented team to the playoffs and he’s capable of making big throws. The team proved this year that they are close to a playoff run and throwing in a rookie as the starter would be a bad idea. The Raiders should draft a quarterback relatively early, but don’t give up on Carr yet. The best-case scenario is that Carr plays well and leads the team to the playoffs and now you have a valuable young backup. If Carr continues to struggle, then they’ll have his replacement already in house.