With free agency about to start, rumors are about to go away and teams will start actually making real moves. The Las Vegas Raiders have been the subject of many rumors – most surrounding the team’s quarterback situation. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady is set to hit free agency and the Raiders have reported interest.
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock done their best to play coy and praise Derek Carr, but many aren’t buying. Gruden recently talked about the quarterback rumors at an even in Las Vegas.
“You’re killing me, man” Gruden said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, when asked about Brady. “We love our quarterback. Our quarterback’s a really good player, Derek Carr. I want to reiterate that to everybody here in Vegas. We’ve got a good, young quarterback, and the film, the statistics and analytics prove it.”
On the surface, Gruden’s comments sound like a ringing endorsement of Carr. However, we’ve heard all of this from the coach before. If he truly was planning on Carr being the quarterback in 2020, he would say so. It’s still very possible, if not likely, that he’ll be the Raiders’ starter this upcoming season.
Gruden Wants to Improve the Whole Team
Many eyes will be on the Raiders’ quarterback situation once free agency starts on March 18th, but it’s not the team’s biggest need. Gruden believes there’s a lot of room for improvement for the team at all levels.
“We’re going to be in the market to try to improve at every position,” Gruden said. “That’s what we’re gonna do.”
Las Vegas has huge needs at wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback. They’ve only been to the playoffs once since 2002, so they need to add consistency all over the roster. Luckily, there are some strong players available for the team. It would be much wiser for Gruden and Mayock to focus on spending big money on the defense over giving an aging Tom Brady $30 million a year.
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Gruden Explains What Team Is Looking For
The Raiders absolutely nailed the draft last year, but free agency yielded mixed results. They spent big on Trent Brown and that looks like a great move so far, but LaMarcus Joyner was a disappointment, Vontaze Burfict missed most of the year because of suspension and Tyrell Williams struggled to be consistent throughout most of the season. Gruden explained what the team is looking for this year.
“I think we’re looking for guys who have some maturity, some professionalism,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to worry ourselves with everything, but also realize there are some situations we have to avoid.
“We’re going to surround ourselves with some people who can help us with the transition, who have seen it all, and bring powerful messages to our players, and coaches and everyone in our organization.”
Considering what the city of Las Vegas has to offer, it will be very easy for immature players to get into some trouble there. The Raiders did a great job of adding high-character guys last year and they figure to try and do the same this year.