Buckle up, Raiders fans because there’s about to be another offseason chock full of Derek Carr rumors. Halfway through the season, it looked like Carr was going to be the unquestioned quarterback of the future for the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders. After struggling over the backend of the season, there is much more doubt about his future with the team. Head coach Jon Gruden was asked about the quarterback and he didn’t exactly make any promises.
“He played good. I’m not going to get all the next-year scenarios,” Gruden said about Carr on Monday. “I’m just going to say that 7-9 is a step forward. Statistically, we took a step forward. We have to get a lot of guys healthy, and we have a lot of things to look at and to evaluate before we start making any assumptions.”
Now, he did praise Carr but considering there are so many questions and rumors these days, a non-commitment to the quarterback could be seen as a willingness to toy with the idea of moving on. Considering there are reports that Gruden is ready to take a hard look at the 2020 rookie class of quarterbacks, Carr could be in serious trouble.
Derek Carr Doesn’t Seem Too Worried
Regardless of whatever rumors come out, Carr has remained positive and expects to be the team’s quarterback in 2020.
“We’ll see when that time comes,” Carr said on Monday. “You’re probably sick of talking about it, just like I am. I had some good meetings with my coaches. I’m looking forward to Las Vegas.”
While the quarterback did struggle at points this season, there’s no doubt he improved over his 2018 effort.
“I don’t think it’s is a surprise that my second year in a system have been both of my best years,” Carr said. “This, by far, statistically speaking, brought career highs in almost everything except wins. I think we need to get more wins. And then everyone will chill out.”
Winning will cure a lot for Carr and the Raiders did improve in the win column. 7-9 is actually tied for the fourth-best Raiders record since 2002. Like him or not, Carr has proven in the past that he can lead this team to wins. He’s not Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes, but he’s still one of the 20 best quarterbacks in the NFL. The Raiders should tread lightly before they decide to move on.
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Potential Carr Replacement Options
The biggest obstacle facing the Raiders and a potential Carr dismissal is who exactly they plan on replacing him with. The team will be selecting at 12 and 19 in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Outside of Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, there are a number of question marks surrounding the other top quarterback prospects in the 2020 draft. Both Borrow and Tua figure to be gone by the time the Raiders pick. If Gruden is looking to the draft, he should select a developmental prospect like Jalen Hurts in a later round and give him a couple of years to develop.
There’s also free agency, which doesn’t have many great options. Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Philip Rivers aren’t coming to the Raiders. That leaves the likes of Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota as potential options. Winston turns the ball over way too much for a Gruden offense and Mariota doesn’t have a lot of upside. Neither is a better option than Carr. The only player who would make sense for Gruden is Bridgewater. However, it’s very possible he sticks with the New Orleans Saints until Brees retires.