It seems like Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been a lame duck heading into each of the past several offseasons.
Despite putting up some pretty darn good numbers, the 30-year-old Carr has a reputation for being nothing more than an average starter in today’s NFL.
His future with the Raiders seemed to be pretty darn cloudy after the three-time Pro Bowler led them to a surprise playoff appearance this season.
Primarily, Jon Gruden’s decision to resign and an uncertainty regarding the Raiders’ next coach led to rumors that Derek Carr might not be back for a ninth season with the team. Once general manager Mike Mayock was fired, this didn’t seem to bode well for Mr. Carr.
The Raiders are set to interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for their head coach job later this week. At this point, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that McDaniels will head to Sin City. In this scenario, de facto Patriots general manager Dave Ziegler would follow suit.
If so, NFL insider Mike Silver suggested that it bodes well for Carr’s future in Las Vegas.
“If Josh McDaniels is hired as the Raiders’ next coach, Dave Ziegler would almost certainly be the GM. And in that scenario… the incoming coach and GM would arrive in Las Vegas with a high opinion of QB Derek Carr, from what I am told. Carr has one-year left on his contract,” Silver noted.
This makes sense for numerous reasons. Bringing in these two Patriots figures lends credence to the idea that the Raiders will value Carr as your more prototypical quarterback in comparison to other candidates. Both Tom Brady and Mac Jones are prime examples of this.
Derek Carr to be back with the Las Vegas Raiders?
As Silver noted, Carr has one more season remaining on his current five-year, $125 million contract. He’s set to count a mere $19.88 million against the cap in 2022. In today’s NFL, that’s an absolute bargain for a starter-caliber quarterback.
The Raiders have concerns throughout the roster. They can simply rely on Carr to do his thing next season while filling out some areas of weakness. The team could also opt to extend the former Fresno State star. There’s a lot of options on the table here.
There’s also this thing called leadership. Despite the Raiders dealing with turmoil most teams could scarcely imagine during the 2021 season, Carr was able to lead the team to a rare playoff appearance. He’s drawn praise from multiple teammates during this span, including the handling of the tragedy surrounding former Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs.
On the field, Carr has continued to play pretty good football.
- Derek Carr stats (career averages): 65% completion, 3,963 yards, 24 TD, 11 INT, 92.4 rating
Despite the Raiders’ lack of overall success with Carr under center (57-70 career record), these numbers are hard to ignore.
As for the McDaniels pairing, just look at what the widely respected offensive mind got out of Mac Jones as a rookie this past regular season. That can’t be lost on everything.
Short of that happening, Carr remains the best option.
Should McDaniels and Ziegler head to Las Vegas, this seems to be the most-likely end result.