First-Mate Mutiny: Raiders may face QB controversy

Las Vegas Raiders just welcomed a quarterback controversy when they signed 2015 second overall pick Marcus Mariota, and I’m here for this.

I am going to attack this potential training camp battle objectively, I will not get caught up in the subjective stuff going on everywhere. If you would like to know my personal take, I think it is time for Carr to go. I have multiple reasons for that but I am just going to throw it away like he does with some fourth down passes, because it doesn’t matter.

Marcus Mariota

Mariota made the most sense, but even then, it made little sense. After the season, I penciled him in as the one creating the quarterback battle in Las Vegas and it is happening, but let’s look at the reality: He would push Carr, but is he good enough to take Carr’s job? Doubtful. Is he good enough to flip half the fans and cause a controversy? Yes, and for that reason alone, I didn’t see it happening. The Raiders need someone to challenge Carr, but they don’t need the headache of people yelling for a change for someone who might not be significantly better. Beyond that, locker room presence is a necessity, how the coaching staff goes about this can cause issues among the players. I could be wrong though, this could be the fresh start Mariota needs, he may spell the end for Carr in Las Vegas, but at this point, he is not the long term answer in Sin City. Buckle up, we are treading on choppy waters.

Related: Raiders Preparing For Second Free Agency Wave

Draft prospects

Given the holes they have and the how much talent there will be in the draft, I see the Raiders either trading to grab a signal-caller in the second, or using a third for whoever is available. Considering their free agent acquisitions went mostly towards the defense, I can even see a first being used in a quarterback. The 2020 NFL Draft will be interesting with the depth of its quarterback class.

Derek Carr

Derek Carr is on year three of his contract and I would not be surprised if he has already had discussions about it with Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock and Mark Davis. The writing is on the wall, in my opinion, Carr does not plan to play long term. I doubt he makes it the full three years but I don’t doubt he will be the starter in Week 1 this year. The time to plan for his successor starts now, but that successor isn’t getting the get-go unless something drastic happens. I will be shocked if Carr is traded. I still believe he would retire before playing anywhere else.

DeShone Kizer

Raiders still have DeShone Kizer, whom Mayock valued highly and still may, keep under contract. People don’t want to hear it, but as long as Kizer is on the roster, he is valued as a possible replacement. The former draft analyst pegged him as having the highest ceiling in his class, which consisted of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. He said Kizer came out too early and needed to spend a couple years with a clipboard. After his disastrous rookie season in Cleveland, he spent a year behind Aaron Rodgers, and then a year backing up Carr. He’s got one year left on his rookie deal and if he won’t partake in the team’s long term plans, I expect to see him traded or cut before the season.

Final thoughts

Gruden still loves his Peterman and if a draft prospect comes in too, I expect a nice quarterback battle in camp for the backup role and maybe the future successor. If we are lucky, one of these young guys will push Carr up, or out. Right now, the Raiders have a quarterback depth chart that looks like Carr/Mariota/Kizer/Peterman, I have seen worse but all four of these players were starters at one point in their careers. It should be an interesting camp battle. Buckle up Raider Nation, we are treading on choppy waters.

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