The recent rumor mill has indicated that Derek Carr could be a popular name on the trade market this year. There hasn’t been anything substantial that has indicated the Las Vegas Raiders are interested in moving him, but that won’t stop teams around the league from checking in. Head coach Jon Gruden can be unpredictable but he’s stuck with Carr for three years. Over those three years, the quarterback has improved.
Jay Gruden, brother of Jon, knows a lot about quarterback play due to the fact that he played the position in the Arena Football League for over a decade. In an interview with The Athletic, the younger Gruden that the Raiders are set at quarterback:
I think Derek Carr had his best year just from an outsider. Obviously, my brother’s there (Raiders coach Jon Gruden), but I watched them as often as I could because we have similar type concepts and I might steal a play or formation from (Jon). … (Carr) was outstanding. They did a lot of things at the line of scrimmage where they would get man zone tips or read the safeties, get into a good run or get into a good pass and he would maximize the information and get the Raiders in a good place on third down, red zone. I think they’re very efficient. So I think had a great year, you know, unfortunately, defensively, they didn’t get many stops. Marcus came in that one game that Derek got hurt, and he played very well for not getting any reps. The issue you have with Marcus is long-term health. … (He needs to use) his speed, his elusiveness to have success, but he did do some good things in the pocket. I think both quarterbacks obviously deserve an opportunity. But I would jump on the (chance) to try to get Derek Carr. I mean, I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks.
Jay Gruden is a pretty straight shooter and there’s no reason he needs to go out of his way to praise Carr. He appears to think very highly of the Raiders’ quarterback.
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Gruden Would Be ‘Shocked’ if Carr Was Traded
Now, the Raiders probably wouldn’t trade Carr unless they had a path to getting Deshaun Watson. However, Gruden isn’t buying that the team is moving off of Carr:
I don’t know. I never know what Jon’s gonna do. But I’d be shocked, really. The way that Derek played this year, I don’t know why he’d want to get rid of him. But who knows, if there’s another guy out there that they really, really like, it is a business at the end of the day. You got to think about not only the year coming up but the future five, six, seven years. Jon’s going to be there for the next six, seven years so he’s got to think about that as well.
Carr is a very capable quarterback and the Raiders shouldn’t really entertain the idea of trading him unless they know they can land Watson.
A Carr Trade Seems Unlikely
Many analysts like to talk about how Gruden is never satisfied at quarterback. What those analysts fail to mention is that Carr is better than any other quarterback the coach has had. He’s a top-10 player at the position right now.
No, Carr isn’t as good as Watson but he doesn’t need to be. The Raiders’ problems are on the defensive side of the ball. If they can fix that issue, they are a playoff team. If they trade all of their draft picks to Houston, it becomes significantly harder to fix that defense. Even Watson would have a hard time leading this team to the playoffs with how it’s currently constructed.