Derek Carr appears to have survived another offseason chock-full of rumors. From Tom Brady to Cam Newton, the Las Vegas Raiders were linked in some way to almost every available quarterback. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock tried to shut down the rumors, but nobody would listen. Well, free agency is almost over and done with and Carr appears to be the team’s quarterback for 2020.
Carr is aware of many of the rumors that were flying around and even had some fun with it this offseason. However, he’s starting to get serious now and made a strong statement about his plans for the upcoming season on Instagram.
In six seasons with the Raiders, Carr has only posted a winning record once. That’s not all on him, but he could definitely do more to get the team over the hump. He’s heading into 2020 with a good offensive line, one of the most dynamic tight ends in the NFL and the most exciting young running back around. All he needs is a wide receiver and he should put up career numbers.
Wide Receiver Help on the Way?
Unfortunately for the Raiders, they have yet to address one of their biggest needs at wide receiver this offseason. They signed Nelson Agholor, but he’s probably better suited to be a fourth or fifth option. Players like DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs were available in trades, but the Raiders didn’t make a run at either of them. Due to that fact, it appears they’re planning on addressing the need in the draft.
Fortunately, this draft class will feature a very deep group of solid wide receiver talent. Amari Cooper is the only Pro Bowl-level wide receiver Carr has ever had and even he was very inconsistent. The quarterback has never had a truly elite player to throw to out wide. That will change if the Raiders give him Henry Ruggs, CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy. Any of those three players could change the dynamic of the offense in a big way.
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Drafting a QB Is Still a Real Possibility
Carr will head into training camp as the unquestioned starter this year, but he’ll have his shortest leash yet. Marcus Mariota will be waiting in the wings and ready to go in case Carr struggles. If he gets benched, his career with the Raiders will likely be over.
Plus, there’s a really possibility that an exciting rookie quarterback is brought into the fray. There’s been some buzz around the idea that the Raiders could take Jordan Love in the first round. While it still seems unlikely that actually happens, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they selected him early.
There have also been reports that the team likes Jalen Hurts. He should be available on day two of the draft and his athletism should be really intriguing to the Raiders. If the team goes quarterback in either of the first two days, Carr’s long-term prospects won’t be good.