With the Las Vegas Raiders set to begin a new era in the 2020 NFL season, there has been plenty of speculation regarding whether or not quarterback Derek Carr will be the long-term option to lead the offense at Allegiant Stadium.
The Raiders put an emphasis on shoring up Carr’s supporting cast last offseason along the offensive line and the addition of running back Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It certainly paid huge dividends for him from an individual standpoint by improving his passing totals in essentially every category.
It is no secret that getting accustomed to head coach Jon Gruden’s scheme also comes with its own set of unique challenges in terms of scheme and playcalling. His efforts did not go unnoticed by general manager Mike Mayock in Year 2 under Gruden.
According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Mayock feels Carr did a tremendous job both on and off the field with Gruden’s approach, but was also noncommittal about him moving forward:
“I think Derek stepped forward in Year 2 under Jon Gruden,” Mayock said. “His mental capacity to handle what Jon asks him to do, his accuracy, his arm talent … I think he had a better second year under Jon than a first year.
“As far as what the future holds, I’m gonna tell you the same thing I told you last year. About every position. And that is, my job is to evaluate every position and try and make us better. And if I can, I will, and if I can’t, I won’t. And that holds true at every position.”
Although Mayock offered up some praise for Carr, his hesitance to commit to his long-term future indicates that the Raiders are truly doing their due diligence on all their options.
While Carr managed to see some improvement in his second year with Gruden, it did not translate to very much success for the offense as a whole. They simply could not get anything going down the stretch of the 2019 NFL season and largely lost control of their playoff destiny because of it.
Of course, Carr has received plenty of flak for his underwhelming play during this time. Regardless, the onus will ultimately fall on Mayock and Gruden to see if there are any better options set to hit the market this offseason.
The Raiders are not exactly in a position to get one of the top quarterback prospects with the No. 12 and No. 19 picks in this year’s draft. The only way they can do that is to potentially package together some draft capital in an attempt to trade up, or they could take a quarterback in the later rounds to learn under Carr for a season or two as well.