With another playoff opportunity squandered by the Las Vegas Raiders, some are ready for the team to make a change at quarterback. For all the team’s problems, Derek Carr hasn’t been one of them. He’s ninth in the NFL in passer rating and has thrown 25 touchdowns to only seven interceptions.
Last offseason, there were a lot of rumors that linked the Raiders to Tom Brady. Those rumors never came to fruition and the team didn’t seem too interested in making a change at quarterback despite all the chatter. Carr played even better this season and there’s not a big-name quarterback in free agency who could spark Jon Gruden’s interest. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders are planning to run it back with Carr next season.
“There’s no intention that they are willing to move off of Derek Carr at this point in time,” Schefter said on ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown, via Bleacher Report. “Now, Jon Gruden is always looking at quarterbacks and they also have Marcus Mariota under a two-year contract, but Carr played well this year and you have to figure they’d like to stick with him going into next year. No intention to move off him at this time.”
Schefter is the most well-connected man in the NFL so if he’s saying Carr is safe, it probably means he’s safe.
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Why This Would Be the Right Move
Look, it’s understandable why Raider fans are getting frustrated. The team has been to the playoffs once since 2002 and got knocked out in the Wild Card round during that one appearance. During that span, they’ve seen the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos win Super Bowls. It’s easy to look at Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert and implore the Raiders to try and get a more exciting quarterback.
However, it really isn’t that simple. Carr is a top-15 quarterback in the NFL and an argument could be made he’s top-10. You can win a Super Bowl without an elite quarterback. If the teams with the best quarterbacks always won the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts would have a lot more trophies. There are only a small amount of elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are perhaps the only two guys who have proven they can elevate a bad team. As good as Mahomes is, he’s got the best support system in the NFL.
Elite quarterbacks are almost impossible to find and finding a quarterback that can win with a bad team is even harder. Carr is clearly not going to take a team with the worst defense in the NFL and lead them to a Super Bowl. However, he can lead an offense with great talent and at least an average defense to a lot of wins. It would be unwise for the Raiders to focus time and resources trying to find a quarterback when they need to fix their defense. Give Carr another crack next season. If the defense improves but the Raiders miss out on the playoffs
again, then maybe it’ll be time for a change.
Will Marcus Mariota Return?
One quarterback to keep an eye on for the Raiders is Marcus Mariota. Carr getting injured against the Chargers might have saved Mariota’s career. The reports coming out of training camp prior to the season was that the quarterback looked really bad. He was the team’s third-string quarterback for most of the season it appeared that the Titans made the right decision to move off of him.
Well, Mariota surprised everybody when he came in for an injured Carr and almost led the team to a win. There was a lot of talk about how the Raiders were going to dump his salary after the season but it might be a good idea to keep him. It’s becoming increasingly important to have a strong backup quarterback and the Raiders should know this really well. Thanks to how he played in relief of Carr, Mariota could be staying in Las Vegas for another year.