It sounds like a broken record at this point, but NFL insiders are still predicting that Derek Carr won’t be the Las Vegas Raiders‘ quarterback for long. Despite surviving another offseason full of rumors, some believe Carr is still on the chopping block. The latest person to claim that this is still the case is Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated:
I think there’s been some tension [between Carr and Jon Gruden], yes, and their personalities definitely don’t meld perfectly. Gruden’s tough on his quarterbacks, and wants them to play with an edge, and that’s not really who Carr is. That said, the results haven’t exactly been bad. His pass rating in Year 1 playing Gruden, and in his complex offense, was the second highest (93.9) of his career. And last year, his passer rating topped 100 for the first time.
But I do think, eventually, Gruden and GM Mike Mayock will replace him. Maybe it’s with Marcus Mariota. Maybe it’s with someone else down the line. For now, Carr’s got three years left on his contract at very affordable numbers—$19 million this year, $19.625 million next year, and $19.876 million in 2022—which gives Vegas the flexibility to go forward with a quarterback they can win with, while still perusing the market.
These comments from Breer come off as more speculative, but he is a well-connected insider. However, there’s no reason to believe what he’s saying about “tension” between Gruden and Carr is true.
Raiders Players Have Debunked This Rumor
This is far from the first report that has claimed that Gruden and Carr don’t really get along all that well. It’s easy to understand why people would believe that. Carr is mild-mannered, humble and kind. Gruden is loud, vulgar and in your face. While they don’t seem like an ideal pairing, opposites can attract.
Based on what players who have had a front-row seat to their interactions have said, it sounds like the two get along just fine. In fact, former Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson just recently talked about how the two have a strong relationship. Star tight end Darren Waller has also voiced the same opinion. Of course, Waller isn’t going to say anything that could bring drama to the team, but Nelson has no reason to lie about the two having a good relationship. As of now, there hasn’t been any concrete evidence that the two don’t get along.
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Beating a Dead Horse
Just a couple of weeks ago, Bleacher Report suggested Carr could get cut before the season and now Breer is bringing back rumors of unrest. At this point, a “believe it when you see it” approach is probably best. Many in the media have been suggesting over the last two years that Carr is a dead man walking, but he’s still the team’s quarterback and there hasn’t been any indication that he’ll be going anywhere.
The Raiders moving on from Carr rumors are starting to get really old. Yes, there’s a strong possibility that he could get the ax if he has a disastrous season, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen.