Raiders GM Dave Ziegler Sends Strong Message on Derek Carr

derek carr

Getty Derek Carr.

It took less than a year for Dave Ziegler to make a franchise-altering decision as general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders. After nine years as the team’s starting quarterback, Derek Carr was benched and then cut. Ziegler tried to trade the quarterback but had to release him before $40.4 million worth of contract guarantees kicked in.

Losing a good quarterback for nothing is never a great look for a general manager. It will look even worse if he doesn’t find a solid replacement. Carr was a leader of the franchise for almost a decade and replacing him won’t be easy. Ziegler hasn’t had much to say about the situation but was able to give more details about what went into the decision and also had praise for the quarterback.

“It’s a tough decision,” Ziegler said of Carr on a February 21 episode of “Bussin’ With The Boys.” “There’s a lot of emotion involved in that decision, too. And I would, say one like, you spend time with Derek Carr. And [he] is a phenomenal human being, easy. It’s hard not to like Derek.

“He’s played the nine years for the same organization and having to make a decision like that there’s a lot of emotion that’s involved in trying and having to make that decision. And it’s a hard decision to make. And at the end of the day, like, that’s what we get paid to do, too, is make hard decisions.”

Ziegler Elaborates on Difficulty of Decision

Carr was the subject of trade rumors for years under former head coach Jon Gruden but the coach never made the move. Carr has been good enough to keep the Raiders competitive but hasn’t been good enough to get them over the hump. It’s not easy to find a quarterback better than Carr and that’s why it was so difficult for Ziegler to make the final call to release him.

“All those decisions are hard decisions, because it’s someone’s livelihood, you know what I mean? And people that are really dedicated to their craft,” Ziegler said. “And they’re all decisions you don’t want to have to make. And again, I think that one was even a little bit more difficult because of what he’s meant to the Raider organization and just who he is, as a human being.”

Carr Decision Could Have Long-Term Ramifications for Ziegler

Whether they like it or not, the Raiders and Carr will be tied together until he retires. That could have serious ramifications for Ziegler. If Carr goes to the New York Jets and wins a Super Bowl, that’s going to be a massive referendum on the Raiders. The fact that Ziegler didn’t get anything for him will be a very bad look.

Now, if he can find an upgrade over Carr, then it won’t matter. There’s been talk of an Aaron Rodgers trade or drafting a quarterback with the No. 7 pick. This is going to be a make-or-break decision for Ziegler. If he adds the wrong quarterback and the Raiders still continue to miss the playoffs, he’s not going to last long in Las Vegas. Carr wasn’t getting the team over the hump but he also wasn’t the biggest problem. There won’t be many scapegoats left next season if the Raiders only win six games again.

Read More