A rough year for Derek Carr continues to get rougher. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback had arguably the best offseason of his career. The team gave him a three-year contract extension and traded for his close friend Davante Adams. They also hired a head coach in Josh McDaniels who is known to be great with quarterbacks.
Things have not gone according to plan. The Raiders are 2-7 and Carr hasn’t been playing his best football. He’s 15th in passing yards, 12th in touchdowns and 15th in passer rating. Those certainly aren’t terrible numbers but are worse than many expected. While the defense has been abysmal, Carr hasn’t done enough to win more games for the Raiders. He’s known for being great late in games when it’s close but Las Vegas is 0-6 in one-score games this season.
Carr has a long-term contract with the Raiders but can cut him in the offseason without taking on a huge dead cap hit. Former MVP quarterback Rich Gannon has been critical of Carr in the past. While he acknowledges the quarterback hasn’t had a terrible season, he doesn’t believe he’s played nearly well enough.
“Derek hasn’t played horribly, but he really hasn’t played well, especially late in games,” Gannon said, via The 33rd Team. “At some point he has to step up and play better. I think there’s enough tools in the toolbox to get it done and Derek Carr hasn’t, especially when they needed him the most; late in games. If you look at his win/loss record 59-77 that really says it all. Derek Carr has to find a way to put this team on his shoulders and get them to the finish line.”
Is Carr Finally Over the Raiders?
Carr deserves some blame for the Raiders’ struggles over the years but the team certainly hasn’t set him up to succeed. Not once has he had even a top-15 defense to work with and the offensive line has been a mess since 2017. He’s also played for seven different head coaches in nine seasons.
Carr has been a good solider and has taken a lot of things on the chin but following the loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, he finally started to let nine years worth of frustration show. He held back tears in his postgame press conference and looked absolutely devastated by the state of the team. He’s always said that he wants to retire as a Raider but it’s possible that mindset is starting to change. He might be better off seeking a fresh start.
Is This Situation Salvageable?
It took the Raiders over a decade to find an adequate replacement for Gannon after he retired. Though he hasn’t won a playoff game, Carr is the most statically proficient quarterback in team history. In a perfect world, things would start to click for him and he’d light up the NFL with Adams.
That seems highly unlikely this season. Perhaps another season under McDaniels with a healthy crop of receivers would get the Raiders where they need to be but the team might want to make big changes following one of the most disappointing seasons in team history. Las Vegas could make things work with Carr but it’s possible this is his last season with the team.