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Raiders rumors: Team expected to retain QB Derek Carr for 2021 NFL season

Raiders rumors: Derek Carr
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) with head coach Jon Gruden against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders rumors over the past couple years have pointed to a potential divorce between longtime quarterback Derek Carr and the organization.

There’s been a lot of talk about Carr’s relationship with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, the latter of whom has sent mixed signals when talking to the media about the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

As Las Vegas finishes up yet another season that has seen it bomb out in December and beyond, there’s obviously going to be a ton of Raiders rumors surrounding Derek Carr and the quarterback position. Right now, it seems like Gruden and Co. are going to stick it out with the former second-round pick.

Related: Raiders QB options for 2021 season

Raiders rumors: Team expected to retain QB Derek Carr for 2021 NFL season

Can you see the Raiders replacing Derek Carr in an Aaron Rodgers trade?
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“There’s no intention that they are willing to move off of Derek Carr at this point in time. Now, Jon Gruden is always looking at quarterbacks and they also have Marcus Mariota under a two-year contract, but Carr played well this year and you have to figure they’d like to stick with him going into next year. No intention to move off him at this time,” NFL insider Adam Schefter reported on ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown (h/t Bleacher Report).

Despite team-wide struggles for the 7-8 Raiders, Derek Carr continues to play excellent football. Through 15 games, the veteran quarterback is completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,732 yards with 25 touchdowns against just seven picks. He’s also leading a Raiders offense that’s averaging nearly 27 points per game.

The larger issue for these Raiders has been on defense. They just recently fired coordinator Paul Guenther and are giving up an absurd 30 points per game. Obviously, Derek Carr doesn’t deserve the blame on that front.

Raiders rumors: How might the quarterback room look in 2021?

Raiders rumors: Marcus Mariota
Dec 17, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) runs the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carr, 29, has two more seasons remaining on the five-year, $125 million extension he inked with the Raiders back in June of 2017. The team would save nearly $20 million against the cap in 2021 should it look to release or trade Carr. At this point, that seems highly unlikely.

However, we will be hearing some Raiders rumors as it relates to backup quarterback Marcus Mariota. The former No. 2 overall pick of the Tennessee Titans inked a two-year, $17.6 million deal with Las Vegas last spring. The team would save $10.73 million against the cap without a penny dead cap hit if it were to move off Mariota.

If that is indeed the case, the expectation is that Gruden and Co. will look for more veteran competition for Derek Carr during the offseason. There’s not a limited number of potential free agents with previous starting experience.

As talk picks up regarding quarterback situations around the NFL over the next few months, it seems like the Raiders have settled in with Carr at least for the 2021 season.

Given that he’s averaging nearly 3,900 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions since the start of the 2015 campaign, that’s probably not a bad thing.

In no way does this mean the Raiders’ quarterback room will remain unchanged in 2021. If nothing else, we know that an old-school Jon Gruden wants to create competition up and down the roster. Said competition could include bringing in a veteran to compete with the Raiders’ current starter.

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