Where Could The Raiders Look If Carr Leaves
By: Caleb Holfoth
The quarterback carousel this offseason is already off to an exciting start with Matthew Stafford being traded to the Los Angeles Rams. James Palmer of NFL Network reported that several teams have called the Raiders and have made offers for starting QB Derek Carr.
The Raiders have yet to seriously consider offers. Considering that the Raiders have not made much progress with Derek Carr during Jon Gruden’s coaching tenure does make this trade very possible in the future.
The Raiders currently hold the 17th pick in the first round of the NFL draft. They could gather more picks and move up by trading Carr, but it is unlikely that any of the top five quarterbacks in the draft fall that far. The Raiders could pick a quarterback late in the draft but the player will likely not be NFL ready. Here are three players who could replace Derek Carr if he is traded in a deal that does not return a quarterback.
- Jameis Winston
Another option for Gruden and Las Vegas is the guy who was picked ahead of Mariota in 2015. Jameis Winston sat behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill this season for the Saints took this season to learn behind one of the greatest. Winston is most remembered for throwing 30 Interceptions in the 2019 season. However, what people forget is that Winston led the league in passing with 5,109 yards and 30 passing touchdowns.
Winston could be the perfect bridge QB for a competitive roster featuring a pedestrian defense. The Raiders aren’t in a great position to draft Gruden’s favorite QB prospect, so it would be more than ideal for LV to take a value pick in the free agency pool.
Winston clearly has the talent to start in the NFL. Where Winston needs to improve is with turnovers and pocket presence. Winston would automatically make the Raiders offense more explosive. However, the cost that could come at with Winston’s high turnover rate is something that makes all NFL franchises balk at Winston. Gruden would be taking a risk by going with Winston. The reward could be gigantic, or it could put Gruden’s job on the line.
2. Marcus Mariota
This option makes sense for Las Vegas because they keep the job in-house. Marcus Mariota former second Overall pick played well in relief for Derek Carr when Carr went down this year in week 15. Mariota threw for 226 yards and ran for 88 yards with 2 total touchdowns to finish the game in relief. Although Mariota could have some sort of career resurgence with the Raider, he is more of a bridge option for the Raiders.
Mariota is a talented QB that is familar with the scheme and could compete with modest weapons around him. Gruden may have trouble luring a FA QB if Carr does leave the building, so it would make sense to keep the Oregon legend intact if he they trade the QB1.
Mariota can be an average NFL quarterback who has the occasional outlier game where he plays like a top 15 quarterback. Mariota is a dual-threat player which gives the Raiders an advantage over Carr’s pocket passer style. However, without an elite offense surrounding him, Mariota is the least feasible option on the list if the Raiders expect to make the playoffs next season.
- Dak Prescott
Probably the most unrealistic option is also the most intriguing. It is not a secret that Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are not exactly BFFs. Prescott wanted a long-term deal last season and the Dallas franchise tagged him. Nonetheless, this is Jon Gruden that we’re talking about — the same coach that had trades with Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, and signed Antonio Brown.
Prescott got hurt early this year and the Cowboys were changing quarterbacks all season eventually leading to a third-place finish in the NFC East. Prescott is an unrestricted free agent and unless the Dallas Cowboys tag him, he will hit the open market. If Prescott does hit the market, there would be several teams knocking at the door for his services.
Other NFL teams certainly have better selling points than the Las Vegas Raiders, but the Raiders should not be overlooked. The Raiders have the pieces (Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow, Josh Jacobs). They also have something that not many franchises can offer. A brand-new stadium in a brand-new location with no face of the organization. Prescott could easily become the face of the Raiders; one of the NFL’s most storied and notable franchises.