NFL Hot Press: Raiders Staying Loyal to Carr

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Combine Logo Raiders Staying Loyal to Carr

Updated Feb. 26, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Ever since Jon Gruden returned to coaching with the Raiders, there has been speculation Gruden would look to replace quarterback Derek Carr. During his tenure as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-2008), Gruden collected quarterbacks and acquired a lot of veteran starters. Due to that track record, there have been a lot of rumors saying Gruden would look to replace Carr with a veteran through a trade in free agency, or draft a young quarterback. After speaking to sources with the Raiders, however, the organization is loyal to Carr and believes the team can win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback.

The Raiders feel they need to build a better team around Carr to help him be more effective. He has not had a No. 1 receiver, and that is a big need after going through the Antonio Brown fiasco. On top of getting Carr more receiving talent, Las Vegas wants to continue to build up its defense. During his NFL career, Carr has never had a defense that ranked higher than the low 20s, and staff with the Raiders feel that if they build a good defense, it will make Carr much better as his job will be a lot easier.

Last year, the Raiders were one of most improved teams in the league, going from a top-five pick to being one of the final teams in the AFC eliminated from the playoffs. Las Vegas nailed some picks in the 2019 NFL Draft with running back Josh Jacobs and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow while also improving the offensive line in free agency. The defense was better as well, and the Raiders feel if they continue to build up the roster, that will provide help that Carr has never had.

Staffers with the Raiders feel Carr has a lot of strengths that make him a good fit for the organization. Gruden runs a complicated offense with a lot of verbiage, which Carr has mastered. It would be a challenge for any veteran that comes to the team. Carr also is a hard worker, intelligent, and has a focus that won’t be distracted by the surroundings in Las Vegas. Contractually, Carr also brings savings as he is in the back half of the league for salaries for the starting quarterback. Thus, the team feels there are a lot of positives that Carr brings to the table. 

Sources with the Raiders say it is very unlikely they would sign a veteran in free agency or draft a replacement. The team believes in Carr and is staying loyal to him as its franchise quarterback.