There are still three games left for the Las Vegas Raiders this season but Derek Carr’s future with the team has already taken center stage. The team has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL with a 6-8 record. The playoffs are still possible but not likely.
In Carr’s defense, the Raiders haven’t exactly set him up for success over his career. They’ve never had a top-15 defense since he’s been the starter and the offensive line has been inconsistent outside of a few seasons. It looked as if Las Vegas turned over a new leaf last season after they made it to the playoffs. This offseason, they added Davante Adams and Chandler Jones and the hope was that the team could go from a Wild Card playoff team to Super Bowl contenders.
That hasn’t been the case as the Raiders need a miracle just to make the playoffs. While there’s been a lot of talk of the team possibly not wanting to keep Carr, he could be starting to get fed up with the team. According to Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter, something hasn’t been right with the quarterback this season.
“Derek has been different this year,” Carpenter wrote. “His teammates have noticed it as well. He has given maximum effort, but he seems to be easily frustrated. One organization member told me: ‘I don’t know what bothers him, I love him, but it seems obvious that he is not his old self. I love him; I want him here, and I am not rooting for a change.’ He added: ‘I can only imagine the constant barrage of negativity gets f****ing old.'”
Why Would There Be a Change in Carr?
Carr hasn’t been perfect throughout his career but there are plenty of justifiable reasons why he’d be frustrated. He’s had seven different head coaches and three different general managers in just nine years. The team has failed to surround him with adequate talent for most of his career and has never given him a capable defense.
However, that’s been the case his entire career so why would he change now? It could stem from the Raiders not retaining interim head coach Rich Bisaccia after the season. The former special teams coordinator came in after Jon Gruden resigned and helped keep the team afloat while leading them to their second playoff berth in 20 years. Carr and other team leaders said that Bisaccia earned the job. Instead, owner Mark Davis decided to hire Josh McDaniels under the notion that he’d be able to get the team to the next level. The Raiders have been a worse team this year and can’t finish with a better record than they had last year. Carr could be irritated by the fact that he thought the team had a good thing going under Bisaccia but decided to make a change and ended up worse because of it. That can’t be sitting well with him right now.
Would Carr Ever Force His Way Out?
Over the years, Carr has maintained that he would rather retire than play for another team. That could still be true but perhaps he’s starting to have a change of heart. He has to see the speculation that teams like the New York Jets or Washington Commanders could have an interest in him. Those are teams with good defenses that just need a quarterback.
Playing for a team in a weaker division that has a good defense has to be appealing to him. The thought of playing for a team with a good defense has had to pass his mind. It’s still unlikely that Carr would ever ask the Raiders to trade him but it could be best for his career.