If a player is mentioned in trade rumors this season and then Jon Gruden says they are not going to be traded, that seems to mark the end of that player’s tenure as an Oakland Raider. We saw that happen with Khalil Mack before the season and we just saw that happen with Amari Cooper during the bye week. So even when Raider Nation might think someone is off the table, no one is truly safe with Gruden running the show.
If Gruden does want a complete rebuild before going to Las Vegas in 2020, Derek Carr would be the next logical piece to trade away to add to Gruden’s five first-round selections over the next two years. However, Oakland should not even think about trading Carr until after the 2019 season.
Give Carr continuity
Carr has only had an offensive coordinator for two straight seasons once. And that was with Bill Musgrave in 2016.
We all know what happened in 2016. 12 wins, an MVP candidate, explosive offense and the first playoff berth in over a decade.
I’m of the mindset that Carr hasn’t just gotten immensely worse in the past two years. There have been many factors including a deteriorating offensive line, turmoil in the organization surrounding the relocation and a new offensive scheme each season.
With that being said, injuries are still worrisome for Carr. Last season, It’s tough to criticize too much considering he was coming off his broken leg and broke a few bones in his back during the season leading to a lack of confidence.
This season, Carr is fully healthy so those excuses can’t be used. But, Cooper has disappeared at times throughout the year, the team’s best player got traded, the offensive line has been a mess, and he has to put up a ton of points to just compete considering the horrible defense.
So far, Carr is one for one when he gets continuity. At least give him the chance to prove himself again.
Moreover, Gruden’s offense is not easy to pick up. It wouldn’t be surprising if the offense was just a little bit too much for Carr to fully comprehend in just one offseason.
It is different to understand something in the QB room versus out on the field in live action. A millisecond of hesitancy is the difference between being a pro bowler and being on the trading block.
No rush to find another QB
There is no doubt the Raiders’ roster is depleted. The team’s number one receiver, gone. Number one running back, injured reserve. Top offensive linemen, injured. Best defensive player, gone.
The roster would not be an ideal situation for a rookie quarterback. A rookie would get destroyed judging by how many times Carr was knocked to the ground against the Seattle Seahawks.
The team should use next year’s three first-round picks to create the best possible situation for Carr to succeed in 2019. If he can’t play well with all those new weapons, then it is time to move on. And then, it will be a more favorable situation for a new quarterback to step into.
In addition, a team shouldn’t draft a quarterback to just fill a need. It is more important to wait for the right one.
Tua Tagovailoa, who has thrown for 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season for Alabama, will not be coming out until the 2020 NFL draft.
So, wait one more year and Oakland should still have the capital, with its two first round picks, to move up in the draft to select Tagovailoa if the Raiders aren’t high enough to select him anyway.