A lot has changed for the Las Vegas Raiders in just two years. In 2021, the team made the playoffs and looked to be headed in a promising direction. That was until owner Mark Davis decided to replace general manager Mike Mayock and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia with Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. The team fell to 6-11 in 2022 and wasn’t even close to the playoffs.
Quarterback Derek Carr, who was the starter for nine seasons, got benched less than a year after leading the Raiders to the playoffs and just months after signing a contract extension. It looked like the team would end up trading Carr but the no-trade clause they gave him made that difficult. Las Vegas ended up having to release the quarterback before he signed with the New Orleans Saints.
Had Mayock and Bisaccia stayed in charge, things likely would’ve been much different for Carr. The former general manager was very high on the quarterback and revealed that thoughts about Carr were also high around the league. While he didn’t divulge too much information, Mayock discussed the trade offers he was seeing for Carr when he was still employed by the team.
“I thought Derek Carr was a top-12 quarterback,” Mayock said on an April 27 episode of the “Green Light Podcast.” “I took the phone calls from people trying to trade for Derek Carr, and he was worth more than a first-round draft pick.”
Mayock was pressed for information regarding which teams wanted to trade for Carr but he wouldn’t give up any more insight.
Raiders Botched Carr Situation
It was clear that Carr wasn’t a fit with McDaniels. A fresh start for the quarterback was the right decision. However, the way the Raiders handled everything was botched. Carr had trade value, even after a bad season. The fact that they couldn’t even get a second-round pick for him is a bad look.
Ziegler didn’t have to give Carr a contract extension last season and he certainly didn’t have to give him a no-trade clause. Had the Raiders just let him play out his contract, they could’ve used the franchise tag on him and then trade him. Even just letting him walk in free agency would’ve been better than what they ended up with. The fact that the Raiders couldn’t get anything for a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback is one of the worst moves a team has made in the past year.
Raiders All-in on Jimmy Garoppolo
There was talk for months about the Raiders taking a quarterback early in the 2023 NFL Draft. That was just nothing but talk. Las Vegas was never interested in selecting a quarterback with their first-round pick. The team did add Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell in the fourth round but he’s not going to push Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.
By not adding a quarterback early, the Raiders have shown that they are all in on Garoppolo. Even with his lengthy injury history, Las Vegas has decided against adding a dynamic backup. If Garoppolo plays well and stays healthy this season, the Raiders may end up keeping him for the entire three years of his contract.