Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, defense in this week’s Raiders mailbag

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, left, hugs Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during warm ups be ...

With Russell Wilson indicating he’d be open to a trade to Las Vegas, Raider Nation clearly took notice. And the fans have some questions.

But Wilson is just one of a number of topics touched upon in this week’s mailbag.

Here is a sampling of what arrived in the mailbox:

Juan Tocino Anderson (@dub_rgt): The Raiders are reportedly committed to Derek Carr but are tied to the two quarterbacks that could be on the move, in Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. Can both be true?

Vincent Bonsignore: It’s important to add context to the Raiders being “tied” to Wilson and Watson. In Wilson’s case, he listed the Raiders as a team he would be open to play for should the Seahawks trade him. That is coming from his end, not theirs. As for Watson, he was brought up in conjunction with the Raiders by two NFL executives. Essentially they said if the Raiders trade Derek Carr, it only makes sense if they can simultaneously replace him with an upgrade. Otherwise trading him makes no sense.

That said, while the Raiders are committed to Carr — remember, coach Jon Gruden has been on the job four years and has not traded Carr in spite of many opportunities to do so — they also have been open about always trying to upgrade every position. Including quarterback. That doesn’t mean they are shopping Carr or intent on moving him, it’s an indication that the Raiders remain flexible should an upgrade be available. Otherwise trading Carr is pointless.

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): If Nelson Agholor walks away, what are the other options at wide receiver?

VB: Agholor remains a priority, but anything is possible in free agency so the Raiders have to be flexible. Should Agholor leave, it allows for more opportunities for second-year receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, both of whom are liked by the Raiders and for whom big strides are expected in 2021. Keelan Doss, who spent 2020 on the practice squad, is also in the plans. Pending free agent Zay Jones also could return on a reasonable contract.

Stacanova (@stacanova): Why do the Raiders seem to be indifferent to what anyone’s (including Raider Nation) opinion is of Derek Carr?

VB: In talking to Mike Mayock, the Raiders’ general manager, he has been consistent in both his support for Derek Carr and the club’s objective of evaluating every position. That doesn’t mean he’s shopping Carr. In regards to any indifference that might project, the sense is that isn’t a big concern. As the general manager, he is required to wear blinders and shut off the noise to make decisions not based on emotion.

Help fight cancer (@helpfight81): Is there any hope we have a defense that is at least average?

VB: Between the hiring of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the talent on hand and the expected additions through free agency and the draft, hope abounds within the Raiders’ building that improvement is imminent. The 2021 season should clear up whether the bulk of the defensive issues were coaching or a lack of talent.

Joe Raider (@onecooljoe): What is going to happen with Trent Brown?

VB: A big decision is looming. Brown has played 16 of 32 games in his two years with the Raiders, including only four full games last season. The Raiders cannot afford another year of wondering whether their right tackle will be able to play each Sunday, considering his $14 million salary. They will ask if he was the victim of bad luck last year or is it a prelude of things to come?If it’s the former, Brown is likely back. If it’s the latter, he has played his last game with the Raiders.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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