Even with that one move, many felt this acquisition could be so significant that it took a ‘good’ Raiders team that qualified for the postseason into a ‘great’ team poised to compete for a Super Bowl.
Coming into the season, you’d be hard-pressed to find many who would argue that Carr is not a top-15 or top-20 NFL starting quarterback. Even then, maybe by adding Adams, who Carr had strong chemistry with dating back to their days at Fresno State in college, maybe the Raiders QB could even raise his level of play to be considered a top-10 signal-caller.
With Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and a new offensive-minded head coach in Josh McDaniels, who won six Super Bowls in New England, what could possibly go wrong?
Unfortunately, in the nine months since the Adams trade, we’ve seen the Raiders fall flat on their face, at 2-7, with the second-worst record in football. Yet, Raiders owner Mark Davis recently threw his support behind coach McDaniels for another season heading into 2023. But what about their QB? How secure is Carr’s job?
Derek Carr’s starting gig could be at risk
Before the season began, the Raiders signed Carr to a new three-year, $121 million contract extension. This was a move made to pair Adams and Carr together for at least the next three years, giving the team a narrow championship window.
Yet, even with Carr under contract through 2025, and Adams under control through 2026, there’s been some speculation Adams may be catching passes from a different gunslinger in 2023.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the Raiders could consider releasing Carr during the offseason in order to avoid paying the final three years of his contract. This would be an easy transition, as Carr’s contract features zero future guaranteed money.
The Raiders have a short window to make up their mind, as Carr has a $7.5 million bonus that is guaranteed as long as he’s still on the roster three days after Super Bowl LVII. While cutting him altogether would incur a $5 million cap penalty no matter what, that’s a small amount if the Raiders already have other ideas at the QB position.
- Derek Carr stats (2022): 62.4% comp rate, 2,128 passing yards, 13 TD, 5 INT
As of now, the Raiders project to have the second overall pick in a draft class that should feature at least a few first-round quarterbacks, including 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young, in addition to Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker. These are just a few of the CFB quarterbacks NFL scouts are eyeing ahead of the draft process.
If not, Carr, who could drive the Las Vegas Raiders offense?
Then, there’s also this fella named Tom Brady, who could be looking to join a new team once again. We already saw the 45-year-old try and retire this past offseason before returning to finish out the final year of his two-year contract with Tampa Bay. Is it possible Brady tried to posture to join another team this past offseason before getting rejected? We can’t rule it out.
With Brady already having a strong familiarity with coach McDaniels, should the Raiders find themselves trying to decide between a seven-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help groom their top draft pick and potential face of the franchise or sticking with Carr, hoping he turns it around, well that’s an easy choice.