It’s no secret that the Raiders, and QB Derek Carr, have struck gold together. Carr was selected by the Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and after a slow start to his career, he has since caught fire, and taken the NFL by storm.
Coming into his rookie season, Carr had to beat out perennial NFL starter Matt Schaub, even though Schaub was on the downhill climb era of his career. Carr impressed enough throughout OTA’s and the preseason games, to earn the starting job for Oakland’s season opener.
Carr would go on to start all 16 games and would throw for 3,270, with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Needless to say, Carr had a great rookie season. However, even with Carr’s performance, the Raiders only went 3-13.
The record isn’t completely Carr’s fault.
The Raiders defense was subpar that year, 29th overall to be exact. His offensive line didn’t help him out much either, allowing him to be sacked 24 times. The Raiders also had the worst ranked rushing offense in 2014. So, he had no help coming out of the backfield either. Suffice it to say, the Raiders were a dumpster fire, in 2014.
In 2015 however, Derek Carr and the Raiders came to life. Adding star Wide Receiver Amari Cooper with the 4th overall pick, and signing Michael Crabtree in free agency helped out tremendously too. Carr now had someone to throw to and depend on in late game situations.
In 2015, with his newly acquired weapons, Carr threw for 3,987 yards, with 32 touchdowns, and only 13 interceptions.
The Raiders didn’t improve enough to make the playoffs in 2015. They did, however, improve by leaps and bounds, finishing the season with a 7-9 record. Their defense improved to 20th overall. However, they still had a lackluster 28th overall rushing offense.
The Raiders needed to prove themselves in 2016, and they stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park. Carr came up big for them, throwing for 3,937, with 28 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. Carr, however, only played in 15 games. 2016 was the first time in Carr’s NFL career that he missed a game.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Raiders second to last game of the season against the Colts, Carr went down with a broken fibula. He, of course, had to sit out the rest of their season. Missing their final game, which they lost to the Division Rival Denver Broncos. Allowing their other Division rival Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West title and a first-round bye.
Without that injury, the Raiders were poised to potentially make the AFC Championship game, possibly even the Super Bowl. The Raiders were gelling in 2016. Fans can only dream about how the playoffs would have gone had Carr not gotten injured. Such is the game of football though.
Going into the 2017 season, Carr is in the last year of his rookie contract and wants to be paid like the star he is.
However, good news is Carr has said he’ll play out the final season of his rookie contract. He won’t holdout, which can only help to get him the deal he wants.
The Raiders, with Carr, are one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC, possibly even in the NFL. We’ve seen what they look like without him under center. To be fair to McGloin and Cook, the Raiders two back-ups, they only had a week to prepare as potential starters against one of the AFC’s best defenses in the Houston Texans.
If the Raiders don’t get a deal done with Carr this year, then he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and another team will sign him. I don’t foresee this happening, but it is a possibility.
Carr has pulled the Raiders from obscurity and has brought them back to the way they were in the Madden days. Carr and the Raiders have nothing but a bright future ahead of them. Multiple Super Bowl runs are no doubt in their future. The Raiders need to do everything possible to retain Carr and keep their young team intact. Especially, if they want to have a chance in an AFC West that is getting younger by the year. The Broncos have youth under center, with Siemian, and Lynch. And the Chiefs just drafted Mahomes, who they hope will be their QB of the future, in the coming years. The Chargers will no doubt, draft a QB in next years draft with Phillip Rivers aging.
There is a silver lining in the possibility of Carr leaving, as bad as that sounds for the Raiders. Next years QB class looks-to-be very promising. It’s way too soon to tell, of course, but they look promising.
Of course, I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. As a Chiefs fan, I want Carr to stay in Oakland/LasVegas, the better the talent in the AFC West, the better my Chiefs have to be to match up. Competition is good, it’s what football is all about after all.