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Is it smart for Raiders to have a $125 million quarterback during a rebuild?

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NFL: International Series-Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you are looking for a topic that will spark up some debate amongst Raider fans, just propose the question: Should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr? The Raiders haven’t had a player that moves the needle like Carr in many years. Some people love him and some would rather he go away.

When Carr was drafted in 2014, he was suppose to be the franchise savior. Gone were the days of Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, Daunte Culpepper, JaMarcus Russell (why Al, why?). No more Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell, and Terrelle Pryor. Finally, the Raiders would have competent play at the most important position in all of sports.

Things were progressing just as you’d expect from a promising, young quarterback in the early years of his career. Each season the teams record improved from three wins, to seven wins, to 12 wins and a playoff appearance in 2016. Carr was so impressive in 2016, he finished fifth in the MVP voting.

Unfortunately, we all know how the ending of the 2016 season played out.

In the offseason after the 2016 season, Derek Carr was rewarded with the long-term deal he was seeking, signing a 5-year, $125 million contract. The Raiders had their man locked up for the long haul.

Things have been all down hill since then.

Now, not even two full seasons into his new contract, the Raiders are in the midst of a complete rebuild. Things have been bad for Carr, he looks like a shell of the man we saw in 2016.

The question now is if or when the Raiders should move on from him. Does it make sense for a team in rebuilding mode to have such a high priced quarterback?

Already stock piled with three first round picks from the trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, the Raiders could potentially add one more first round pick. If no team can meet the demands of a first round pick, maybe cutting their losses in the offseason is the best course of action.

According to, Derek Carr has a cap number of $22.5 million in 2019. By releasing Carr the team would save $15 million and eat $7.5 million in dead money. If this is the route that is chosen, the Raiders would most certainly be looking to use one of their first rounders on Carr’s replacement.

On the other hand, maybe Derek Carr is the type of guy you want around when rebuilding. Carr is a captain on this team and amid reports of a “fractured” locker room, and the team losing faith in him, many of his teammates have come out in support of him including Lee Smith, Jordy Nelson, and Rashaan Melvin.

Carr would be the perfect role model for the current young guys on the team and the many that will be brought in through the draft in the next couple years. Carr is known as a high character, tireless worker. Not to mention, he still carries enough clout throughout the league where he can be an asset in recruiting potential free agents.

The next few days should be very interesting as the October 30th trade deadline approaches. On Wednesday, Jon Gruden met with members of the media and had this to say when asked about a trade involving Derek Carr.

“I’m not going to speculate about that today. I don’t see us making anymore trades. Certainly, I don’t see us trading our quarterback,” said Gruden. It seems that Carr is safe for now but with Gruden you never know.

The topic of Derek Carr is a divisive issue for Raiders fans, the debate can go on and on. Only time will tell the fate of Derek Carr in silver and black.


What should the Raiders do with Derek Carr?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Keep him at least thru next season
    (2682 votes)
  • 22%
    Trade him before the deadline
    (841 votes)
  • 7%
    Release him in offseason (if no trade possible)
    (289 votes)
3812 votes total Vote Now