With training camp a little over a month away if things don’t get delayed, the Las Vegas Raiders appear set at quarterback. Derek Carr is the starter and Marcus Mariota will be the backup. For the second offseason in a row, many in the media suggested that the team was going to move off Carr in favor of another quarterback. That was proved wrong once again as the Raiders didn’t make any big moves at quarterback.
Despite there being no indication that Carr won’t be the team in 2020, some are still holding onto the idea that head coach Jon Gruden is planning to make a change. In his predictions for most surprising cuts this offseason, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report named Carr at the top of the list:
The Las Vegas Raiders’ continued interest in other quarterbacks makes Derek Carr’s standing with the team tenuous at best.
Last year, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden flirted with future No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. Then Tom Brady held the organization’s interest for a short period of time. The Raiders were also reportedly interested in a trade-up scenario during this year’s draft if Tua Tagovailoa fell below the sixth overall pick (he was taken with the fifth pick).
Mayock and Gruden continually rail against the thought of Carr being anything other than the Raiders’ franchise quarterback, yet their actions speak loudly. If an opportunity comes along to adequately replace and improve the position, the Raiders appear more than willing to take advantage.
Enter Marcus Mariota, who the team signed to a two-year, $17.5 million free-agent contract.
Carr remains the Raiders’ projected starter. If Mariota shows he can provide a similar level of play in Gruden’s system, the Raiders can save $13.6 million toward the 2020 salary cap by going with the alternative.
Carr getting cut would certainly be a surprise at this juncture.
There’s Absolutely No Shot That This Happens
It’s baffling how so many in the media are obsessed with the idea that Gruden wants to move on from Carr. Sure, the Raiders were “linked” to the likes of Tom Brady, Jordan Love, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Dwayne Haskins. However, they could’ve easily gone after any of them and didn’t. At a certain point, it’s hard to buy into the notion that Las Vegas is fixing to make a move at quarterback.
It’s even more baffling now that there are those who continue to beat this dead horse. It’s true that Gruden loves quarterbacks, but he’s not going to move off a good one just because he can. Carr will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2020 barring an absolute disaster. He’s cemented himself as the leader of the team and the Raiders have given no signs that they don’t trust him.
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Mariota Isn’t Better Than Carr
A lot of people have talked about how Mariota could do to Carr what Ryan Tannehill did to him last season. That would feasible if Mariota was a better quarterback. People forget that Tannehill put up decent numbers for the Miami Dolphins when he was healthy. No, he wasn’t a superstar but he was an above-average quarterback.
There’s no sugar-coating it. Since his strong 2016 season, Mariota has just been flat out bad. While he has his faults, Carr has never had a truly bad season and he’s almost won an NFL MVP. There are those who will try to create a quarterback controversy, but there’s no reason to believe that Carr won’t be the starter in 2020.