Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that he believes Derek Carr is his quarterback. While that statement sounds like an endorsement on the surface, it might ultimately be just a way of saying that the team brass doesn’t know whether Carr or another quarterback will be taking snaps under center for Oakland in Week 1.
There are no rumors and no insider reports that can prove the Raiders want to trade their starting quarterback. However, there are a couple of incidents that should make everyone skeptical about what Gruden says to the media and at the same time, give us a clue about what can happen.
In the 2018 off-season, Gruden said that he was going to find a way to have Khalil Mack signed. The Raiders ended up trading Mack to the Bears for a couple of first round picks right before the season started.
Similarly, when Gruden talked about former Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper when he got the job, he said that he envisioned Cooper becoming a focal point of Raiders offense. At the end, Cooper became the focal point of a trade with the Cowboys for a first round pick.
I’m not saying that a trade will happen or that the Raiders don’t think Carr is a franchise quarterback. There is so much uncertainty at key positions and so many holes to fill that there is no way the Raiders should even consider trading one of their best players in the last few seasons, but when it comes to Gruden and what he says, we should all believe it until we see it.
Maybe Mayock sincerely believes that Carr is the right quarterback to lead the franchise, but he is also aware that when it comes to Gruden and the quarterbacks he wants to work with, we shouldn’t take anything he says for granted.