The NFL season has come to an end and ended in the worst way possible for the Las Vegas Raiders. A hated divisional rival won the Super Bowl and they did it off the back of their young, dominant quarterback. If the Raiders are going to win the AFC West in the next 15 years, they’re going to need to beat Kansas City and current quarterback Derek Carr has yet to prove he can do that with any level of consistency.
Jon Gruden and co. know this about Carr and it has led to much speculation about the Raiders going after Tom Brady. The future Hall of Fame quarterback is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career and the New England Patriots could let him walk. Brady to the Raiders rumors hit an all-time high on Super Bowl Sunday as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the silver and black are ready to “pursue” the quarterback in free agency.
Ravens’ Tony Jefferson Supports Derek Carr
Many have soured on Derek Carr as of late even though he was very close to winning the MVP in 2016. Since that magical year, he hasn’t played nearly to the same level. Whether that is completely his fault or not is hard to say, but Carr found an unlikely supporter amid all the Tom Brady talk. Starting safety for the Baltimore Ravens Tony Jefferson gave a fierce defense of Carr.
Jefferson has only played against Carr at three points in his career, but he clearly has respect for his ability. It’s easy to forget that Carr looked like a top-five quarterback in the NFL for a time. Unfortunately, it’s been three seasons since he’s shown that kind of ability and it seems less and less likely that he ever will again. If the Raiders let go of Carr and he goes to another team and plays out of his mind, then that would be very damning for Jon Gruden and his staff. The team should really make sure they have better options before they send him away.
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Raiders Have to Deal With Patrick Mahomes for Over a Decade
The biggest reason the Raiders should keep Carr on a very short leash is because of Patrick Mahomes. He may very well be the best quarterback in the NFL over the next decade and while the team could invest a lot in the defense to stop the Chiefs, they still need to be able to put up points. It remains to be seen if Carr can do that while playing under Gruden.
The fact of the matter is that many will call for Carr’s head because he’s not as good as Mahomes, but it can’t be forgotten that arguably nobody is as good as Mahomes. The Raiders aren’t going to magically find the next Mahomes in the draft because he’s one of a kind. It’s unfortunate that the Antonio Brown experiment failed because we would’ve gotten a much better idea of what Carr could do with an elite wide receiver.
The Raiders should play it very slowly with their quarterback situation as finding a good quarterback is not easy. There are probably less than 10 teams in the NFL that are truly happy with their long-term quarterback situation. The Raiders need to focus on trying to figure out how to beat Mahomes going forward and if they believe that requires going after an exciting quarterback in the draft, then it might be worth it for the team to make a splash.