Derek Carr Rumors: Raiders Considering Moving on to QB with 'More Upside'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2019

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is greeted by fans in
D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

Derek Carr may not be making the move to Las Vegas with the Raiders.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, "The Raiders could be moving on from starting quarterback Derek Carr this offseason, with several team sources sensing a growing frustration with the veteran by the coaching staff, and concerns about how much potential for growth remains."

"I don't believe Jon [Gruden] sees enough high-end upside there, and at this point you would have to think Carr is what he is," a source told La Canfora.

Per that report, Gruden "has become a champion of the uber-athletic passers that have punctuated the NCAA game, and he stands uniquely poised to grab one should the Raiders become sufficiently enticed."

Carr, 28, looked like he might be the next star at the position in 2016, throwing for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions in 15 games, completing 63.8 percent of his passes. He led Oakland to a 12-3 record in his starts and secured the team a playoff berth, its first (and last) since 2002. 

But he broke his leg, ending his season, and he's never been able to regain the magic of 2016, with roster and coaching turnover contributing to his overall decline in play.

To be fair, Carr hasn't been terrible in 2019, throwing for 3,372 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 70 percent of his passes. The Raiders have gone just 6-8, however. 

And as La Canfora noted, "Gruden and Carr have a solid relationship, the sources said, but there are concerns about not extending plays with the legs when possible, and Oakland has also struggled to push the ball downfield."

Carr also "isn't by nature a gunslinger or a big-time playmaker; those characteristics resonate heavily with Gruden."

Some of that might be self-preservation—Carr was sacked a whopping 51 times last season, and he and the Raiders have cut that down to a far more reasonable 24 sacks this year. 

But the Raiders are positioned to make a move up the draft board in May if they so desire, with two first-round picks. While LSU's Joe Burrow seems likely to go No. 1 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders could still be in play for options like Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

They could also potentially flip Carr for draft assets, giving them more ammunition to move up the board. Given those factors, it wouldn't be shocking if the Raiders moved on from Carr this offseason as they continue to rebuild in the Gruden era.