If the Las Vegas Raiders can upgrade the quarterback position, we have to believe the organization will do it. No matter what end of the spectrum you’re in, there’s no denying free agency will provide some interesting scenarios.
The Raiders don’t owe Derek Carr anything (except the money he’s owed) and the NFL is a business first and foremost. When there’s proven talent on the market, you must pull the trigger if there’s an upgrade available. By the same token, some of these options might actually work in Carr’s favor. How? By pushing him to be the quarterback many believe he’s capable of becoming.
Would Winston really be an upgrade? That depends on who you ask and how they feel about a “gunslinger.” With a projected improved receiver corps that features Hunter Renfrow and hypothetically, a first round wide receiver, the 2015 first overall pick would probably throw lots of touchdowns. The problem with that? He’d also throw a ton of interceptions which would give Raider Nation heart attacks on Sundays. Last season, Winston threw 33 touchdowns with 30 interceptions, totaling 5,109 passing yards and earning a 68.4 grade via Pro Football Focus. The issue here is whether he would be a good fit in Jon Gruden’s conservative offense and the fact is, he probably wouldn’t be. All the same, it might be a good thing as Winston could become a better calibrated and polished passer in said offense. Pick your poison here.
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Are we suggesting Mariota will replace Carr? Of course not. Be that as it may, Mariota could serve two purposes. One, he would come into camp healthy and compete with Carr, pushing him into becoming a better overall quarterback in 2020. Two, he shows up and outshines Carr in camp and preseason, creating a quarterback controversy. It’s a win-win scenario for Gruden. Carr has never been challenged since he was given the keys as a rookie and this must change next season, perhaps Mariota can bring that change; his stats were not great last year and saw Ryan Tannehill lead the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs from the bench. We must not forget he was once the number two overall pick and quite frankly, this has good potential written all over it.
By far the most polarizing option that Raider Nation has been presented with. Some don’t want him for personal reasons such as being a New England Patriot and the infamous Tuck Rule. Others point out his declining numbers and age, which are fair criticisms in their own right. The potential for the move is there, even if Carr doesn’t want to hear about it. There’s even good gambling odds on this site here of Brady playing for the Raiders in the first week of the 2020 regular season. If Brady does indeed play for the Raiders, I am of the opinion Carr won’t be on this team as a backup.
— RaiderRamble.com™ (@TheRaiderRamble) January 25, 2020
In a poll we recently ran, it seems that most of Raider Nation on Twitter would prefer sticking out with Carr at quarterback. That’s totally fair, however, something that cannot be denied is that Brady is a winner and Carr for his part, not so much, though the passing records are nice.
Before anyone even brings up DeShone Kizer or Nathan Peterman, please stop. Neither one of those two will push Carr, much less see any time on the field other than in an injury scenario. We’ve seen what they can do and they’re not a long-term answer in any capacity. We’ll have to wait and see as free agency looms ever closer.
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