weather icon Clear

Should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr?

ALAMEDA — In the sullen aftermath of the Raiders’ second blowout loss in a row on Sunday in Kansas City, head coach Jon Gruden was asked his assessment of quarterback Derek Carr, who had struggled with two critical interceptions and failed to elicit an efficient performance from the Raiders’ offense.

For Carr, it was a continuation of his well-chronicled issues playing in cold weather. His record when the temperature drops below 50 degrees is now 2-10, 0-5 when it dips below 40 degrees.

It’s left Carr’s career record through 90 starts at 38-52.

“He’s a good quarterback,” Gruden maintained. “He’s got a chance to be great.”

Only Gruden knows if he really believes that about Carr, who is 28 and in his sixth season in the NFL. But his comment raises some important questions.

If great truly is Carr’s ceiling, why hasn’t he reached it yet?

Also, as for the Raiders, can they continue to wait on Carr to realize his potential? Or is it time to cut ties and invest in a quarterback of the future?

Let’s look at the question from both sides.

Carr deserves more time

It can be argued that the Raiders have let Carr down more than the other way around.

He was an MVP candidate in 2016 while playing behind a stout offensive line and alongside a wide receiver unit that featured a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. A solid run game produced 1,922 yards.

Prior to suffering a season-ending leg injury in week 16, Carr had thrown for 3,937 yards while completing 63.8 percent of his passes, with 28 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The supporting casts Carr has played with since then have not been as good, and over the last two seasons the foundation has been torn down in a massive rebuild.

Carr’s play is a reflection of the lesser talent around him. He’s failed to reach 28 touchdowns since 2016, and he’s thrown double-digit interceptions twice. He’s on pace for another double-digit interception season this year.

Nevertheless, Carr’s quarterback rating under Gruden is above 90, and his completion percentage was 68.9 percent last year and 70.6 percent this year. And that is without a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

Remember, the plan this season was to complement Carr with explosive wide receiver Antonio Brown, dependable No. 2 wide receiver Tyrell Williams, dynamic young running back Josh Jacobs and a rebuilt offensive line. But Brown blew that plan up in training camp.

We can only wonder how good Carr would have performed with that supporting cast intact. That is true now more than ever with the emergence of Darren Waller as one of the best tight ends in the NFL and Hunter Renfrow as a valuable slot receiver.

The Raiders have five draft picks within the first 90 selections next April and are projected to have more than $70 million in salary cap space. They have the resources to add the necessary player or two that the offense is lacking and give a talented quarterback like Carr the necessary help to finally reach his potential.

It’s time to move on

The argument that the Raiders would be wasting valuable years by cutting ties with Carr and investing in a young quarterback has been dispelled recently by the rapid success of young quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff.

All three have either led their teams to division titles or the playoffs within their first or second seasons. Goff and the Los Angeles Rams went to the Super Bowl last year and Mahomes led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game. Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens to a playoff berth in his rookie year and is on target to win the AFC North this season.

There is growing evidence that good, young quarterbacks can offer playoff-caliber play almost immediately when put in the right situation. And the Raiders, with their improving roster and vast draft and salary resources, are well-positioned to add a young quarterback and still flourish.

Carr doesn’t deserve all the blame for the Raiders’ struggles. But his best might not be good enough to lift them beyond just a marginal playoff contender. It can’t be ignored that he performs his worst in cold weather — when games matter most.

As they segue to their new home in Las Vegas, now is the right time for the Raiders to release Carr — which would create $15 million in cap space — and draft their quarterback of the future.

So what should the Raiders do?

As the Raiders plot their first offseason in Las Vegas, they need to keep an open mind about Carr and all the various options they can pursue.

That means digging deep into the available quarterback prospects with a willingness to fall in love with one or two of them enough to move on from Carr and invest the necessary resources into securing their desired target.

Let the results of the deep dive into quarterbacks like LSU’s Joe Burrow, Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Utah State’s Jordan Love, among others, be the compass. If they believe they’ve found a quarterback with a ceiling that surpasses Carr’s, it’s time to explore moving up in the draft to secure him.

And moving on from Carr.

More Raiders: Follow at vegasnation.com and @VegasNation on Twitter.

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

Like and follow Vegas Nation
Raiders Videos
Oklahoma LB Murray says meeting with the Raiders went well - VIDEO
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray said he met with the Las Vegas Raiders staff during the 2020 NFL scouting combine and that the meetings went well. LSU's Patrick Queen and Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun may also be prospects that the team could evaluate. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Faith Lutheran Product enjoying the NFL Combine Experience - VIDEO
Native Las Vegan John Molchon spoke to the Review-Journal about his experience at the NFL Combine, how his Faith Lutheran coaches prepared him to play on the offensive line at Boise State and what it's been like to see the city grow as it prepares to welcome the Las Vegas Raiders. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL Combine, Day 2: Taylor's Inspiration, Vegas' Molchon on Raiders Coming to Town - VIDEO
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor spoke about what players have inspired him in his consecutive 2000-yard rushing seasons. Boise State offensive lineman and Las Vegas native John Molchon talks about the Raiders coming to his hometown and how the city is growing with professional sports teams. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WR Ceedee Lamb promises to give Raiders all he has - VIDEO
Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb confirmed that he has spoken with the Las Vegas Raiders and said he'd give them all he has if he is drafted by them. Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who could be drafted by the Raiders at the no. 12 spot, also spoke to media at the 2020 NFL scouting combine on Tuesday. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders GM Mike Mayock on What Positions Need Improvement in 2020 - Video
At the 2020 NFL scouting combine, Raiders GM Mike Mayock discussed everything from how Antonio Brown left the team's wide receiver core without a key target, the upgrades the team needs on offense and defense, what he needs to do better as a general manager and what he saw out of the 2019 rookie class. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium roof takes next step towards completion - Video
Safety netting is being laid across the stainless-steel cable net of Allegiant Stadium in preparation for the ETFE roof installation. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Stadium Insider Rick Velotta discuss the safety netting and the overall progress of the roof.
Allegiant Stadium roof continues to be key feature - Video
On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal was given an updated tour of Allegiant Stadium. Seen on the tour, on the northeastern corner of the roof, was a tiny section of what eventually will be a 7-acre translucent plastic polymer roof.
Allegiant Stadium will undoubtedly be Las Vegas centerpiece - Video
As Allegiant Stadium readies to become home to the Raiders, it's no doubt that the 65,000-seat arena will be a centerpiece to the city of Las Vegas. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto is joined by Raiders beat writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Myles Simmons after his very first tour of the stadium.
Raiders could pursue Tom Brady in free agency - Video
Although the NFL free agency period doesn't open until March 18, many rumors have already been circulating regarding who will be the Raiders quarterback come the 2020-21 season. Vegas Nation's Cassie Soto and Myles Simmons discuss who the Raiders could pick up to replace Derek Carr, including Tom Brady.
Allegiant Stadium video screen will be largest in Las Vegas - Video
Outside of the Fremont Street Experience Viva Vision canopy, Allegiant Stadium's video screen will be the largest sign in the valley, approximately 27,600 square feet in area.
Raiders Potential Picks For 2020 Draft - Video
As the 2020 draft for the NFL approaches the first round of predictions for the Raiders picks have come out. Raiders beat writer Myles Simmons and Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto go over the potential players the Raiders will pick for the draft.
Raiders, Knights license plates favorites among Nevada drivers - Video
Fans of the Raiders have scooped up the team-themed Nevada specialty license plate at a steady pace over the first year of its availability, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the team’s charity.
Raiders know catching Mahomes is key to winning AFC West - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Raiders know that getting to the top of the AFC West means overcoming Kansas City and its electric quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes spoke about how he's handled his early success and his desire to stay in KC for his entire career during a media event during Super Bowl LIV week. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yesco builds Allegiant Stadium signs - Video
The Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium have partnered with Yesco to build signs for the upcoming 2020 season when the team plays their first game. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Raider Lincoln Kennedy talks Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium, Super Bowl - Video
Former Raiders offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy says the 'Imperial March' should play for fans every time they walk into Allegiant Stadium
Goodell on how Las Vegas is embracing Raiders' move, possible Super Bowl for the city
During his Super Bowl LIV news conference, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the possibility that Las Vegas becomes a host city for a future Super Bowl and how he feels the city will embrace the Raiders in the coming season. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders have 12th and 19th draft picks, what did other teams do with those spots? - Video
The Las Vegas Raiders own the 12th and 19th overall draft picks for the 2020 NFL Draft. Las Vegas Review-Journal host Cassie Soto and Raiders beat writer Myles Simmons discuss what NFL teams with those same picks have done in previous years and what the Raiders are likely to do when on the clock.
Bird's eye view of Raiders facilities - Video
The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Mick Akers took a helicopter tour over Allegiant Stadium and the Raiders Henderson headquarters.
The Las Vegas Raiders give back - VIDEO
The Raiders are not even in Las Vegas yet but are already making a big impact on the community, giving out hundreds of hygiene kits to local vets and pledging $500,000 to eliminate school lunch debt in Nevada. (Le'Andre Fox and Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders and MGM Resorts announce partnership - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International and the Las Vegas Raiders announced their partnership Thursday morning, Jan. 23, 2020. MGM Resorts has been named the official gaming partner of the Raiders. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders help pack over 500 hygiene kits for local veterans - Video
The Las Vegas Raiders are continuing to make an impact in the Las Vegas community, this time helping pack over 500 hygiene kits for local veterans. Raiders alumni in attendance included Jim Plunkett and Darren McFadden.
Derek Carr on the Raiders' Official Las Vegas Announcement - VIDEO
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr reacts to the team's official rebrand to the Las Vegas Raiders after the announcement was made Wednesday afternoon.
Las Vegas Raiders React To Name Change - Video
The newly named Las Vegas Raiders react to the name change with the move to the city and how the fans are embracing the team's move.
Las Vegas Raiders official name change - Video
The Las Vegas Raiders official name change came on Wednesday, Jan. 22 with Allegiant Stadium as the backdrop for the announcement. Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says he can't wait to bring his new city a championship and is excited to get to work.
Raiders officially Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders announced that they will officially be known as the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
2020 NFL Draft plans announced - Video
NFL and tourism representatives have announced the plan for the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, an event expected to be one of the biggest events in city history. Las Vegas Review-Journal's Cassie Soto and Mick Akers discuss the details, including staging areas and road closures.
Raiders Serve Lunch at Jack Dailey Elementary - VIDEO
On Tuesday, Raiders fullback Alec Ingold and tight end Darren Waller visited Jack Dailey Elementary to serve lunch and interact with the students (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL 2020 Draft Announcement - Video
The city of Las Vegas and the NFL have announced their plans to host the 2020 NFL draft announcement including multiple locations on the strip and a stage at the Bellagio fountains.
Jon Gruden Tours Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden toured the team's new home Allegiant Stadium for the first time.
Dana White fuels rumors of Tom Brady to Las Vegas Raiders - VIDEO
UFC president Dana White believes there is a real possibility he will be watching his good friend Tom Brady taking snaps for the Las Vegas Raiders from White’s suite at Allegiant Stadium next season. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NFL’s Roger Goodell says Las Vegas could be Super Bowl City - Video
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday morning that Las Vegas has everything a city needs to host a Super Bowl, and more.
Allegiant Stadium Set to Open on Time - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was informed during their meeting on Thursday that Allegiant Stadium will be completed on time.
Conor McGregor says he'd be honored to be the first to fight at Allegiant Stadium
Raiders PSLs sold out
Raiders personal seat licenses for Allegiant Stadium have sold out. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Josh Jacobs Named PFWA's Offensive Rookie of the Year - VIDEO
On Tuesday, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: 5G could enhance fan engagement in Allegiant Stadium - Video
The integration of 5G could help enhance fan engagement at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the future Las Vegas Raiders.
Roger Goodell tours Allegiant Stadium
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell toured $2 billion Allegiant Stadium and called Las Vegas a "Super Bowl city" on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.