With the Senior Bowl taking place this week, the NFL offseason is going to start heating up. The Las Vegas Raiders are a team that is really close to becoming a contender in the AFC but they need to nail free agency and the draft. The focus should be entirely on fixing the defense but there are those who have speculated that a move at quarterback is possible.
Derek Carr is coming off a really strong season but many believe that Jon Gruden is always looking at his options when it comes to quarterback. Carr is nearing the end of his contract so the Raiders will have to make a big decision in the next couple of years. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal had a chance to interview general manager Mike Mayock and asked him about a potential contract extension for the quarterback.
“First of all, I think the most important point is that Derek did have an exceptional year,” Mayock said. “I think he’s gotten better each year with Jon, which is kind of exciting to us internally. As far as any kind of contract conversation, we deal with that directly with the players only.”
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Mayock Gets Cryptic
Mayock’s answer to Bonsignore’s first question was pretty vanilla but the general manager did get a bit more cryptic. He was asked if extending Carr was something he is “open to.”
“I think we’re always interested in keeping good players for as long as we can,” Mayock said.
That was definitely a big sidestep to Bonsignore’s question. For whatever reason, Mayock doesn’t want to directly commit to Carr. It’s possible that he doesn’t want to answer those questions because it’s not really up to him. If Gruden wants to keep Carr forever, he’s going to. If he wants to trade the quarterback, it will happen. It is notable that Mayock is staying noncommittal to Carr but that doesn’t mean the quarterback job isn’t his this season. The Raiders likely want to see if Carr can get them to the playoffs in 2021. If he can, an extension will probably start being discussed.
Is Carr the Long-Term Option for the Raiders?
It seems like the Carr question has appeared every offseason since Gruden took the Raiders job. The veteran quarterback has been steadily improving every year under the coach but he hasn’t led the team to the playoffs quite yet. Now, that isn’t necessarily his fault. The Raiders have fielded really bad defenses over the last three years.
If the team had an average defense, they probably would’ve made the playoffs in 2020. Carr has definitely earned the 2021 starting quarterback job for the Raiders. He had a good season and he probably would’ve led the team to at least 10 wins had it not been for defensive collapses against the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Barring a crazy trade for Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers, the Raiders aren’t going to be making a move at quarterback just yet.