It has been 20 years since the Las Vegas Raiders had a playoff win and owner Mark Davis hasn’t had a single playoff win since taking over the team from his late father. In fact, he has only led the team to two winnings seasons since he became the owner in 2011. Throughout most of his tenure owning the team, he has had one quarterback.
Derek Carr became the Raiders’ starting quarterback in 2014 and didn’t let go of the position until the end of the 2022 season. The team cut him and replaced him with Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. While Carr wasn’t perfect throughout his time with the team, he was far from their biggest problem. He played for six different head coaches and never had a top-15 defense in the NFL. The failure to find the right head coach or general manager falls on Davis. In an interview with Tashan Reed of The Athletic, the owner acknowledged that he failed Carr and revealed that he made sure to apologize to the quarterback after the two sides parted ways:
You know, it’s interesting with Derek. If you look at the last two head coaches that I hired, they’re offensive geniuses. And that was, again, with the understanding that we had Derek Carr as the quarterback and that Derek could only benefit from knowledge from the two of them. So, having offensive coaches was really important to me in that regard. I tried to give them all the tools. As I told Derek, the only consistent thing with the Raiders for the last 11 years has been me. And the fact that we haven’t won falls on me. There’s no passing the buck or pointing the fingers: The buck stops here. And I apologized to him for not being able to get it done. That’s how I feel.
Davis Said He Let Coach & GM Make Carr Decision
Davis has had a reputation for being a hands-off owner. He has typically allowed his general manager and coaches to operate. However, the Raiders have skyrocketed in value since moving to Las Vegas but still haven’t built a consistent winner. Despite that, Davis had nothing to do with the decision to move on from Carr. He claims that decision was entirely up to head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.
“Every coach that came here, whether it was Jon, Jack [Del Rio] or anybody, had the opportunity to assess Derek Carr and determine whether he was going to be their quarterback, and that’s how this one went as well,” Davis told Reed. “They assessed it and by the end of the season, they had made the decision that they were going to move on and make a change. That’s their prerogative to do that.”
Davis Open to Drafting a QB
Garoppolo is set to replace Carr as the starting quarterback in 2023 but he’s unlikely to hold the position for the next decade. Garoppolo is a short-term solution but the Raiders need a long-term one. There’s still a chance the team uses their No. 7 pick to select a quarterback. If that’s what Ziegler and McDaniels want to do, they have Davis’ support.
“If we feel like the guy’s worth it, I think we would do it,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.