Week 1 of NFL Free Agency has come and gone and the Las Vegas Raiders were pretty active. However, one position remains arguably uncertain.
The defense needed upgrades and head coach Jon Gruden and general Mike Mayock went to work. The linebacker situation, which has plagued the Raiders for the better part of 17 years, seems to finally have legit answers. On offense, it was mostly veterans and players that didn’t pan out with other teams. One particular position that has had a cloud has been quarterback and to the dismay of some and the delight of others, the Raiders picked up Marcus Mariota, who has failed to live up to expectations in spite of being a former Heisman Trophy Winner and the 2015 second overall pick.
For months, many fans talked about the Raiders courting Tom Brady, whom the team decided not to pursue once he went out of their price range. Either way, Derek Carr will be the starter and Marcus Mariota is going to back him up. The two hold a moment in history that can be possibly linked to how their careers went south in the eyes of many.
December 24, 2016 is a day that lives and burns a hole in Raider Nation. The week prior, the Raiders ended a 13-year playoff drought and were leading the AFC West while generating buzz as a possible Super Bowl contender. It all ended in a blink of an eye. Carr broke his leg and their season ended there. The irony is Mariota broke his leg the same day. They now share a quarterback room and may be fighting for the same spot.
Carr is by far the most polarizing figure in the recent history of the Raiders. He has gone from the crowd booing his replacement for the mere fact of coming in for a play during his rookie season to being booed off the field in the last game in Oakland. He has not had the best supporting cast the last three seasons, but he does need show he can still play the way he did in 2016. He seemed to be fearless and passionate. Look at last season’s opener as he flipped over a defender for a first down. Now, at the first sign of trouble, he seems to get rid of the ball quickly. Half the fans have soured on him and it’s hard to find an issue with their reasoning though some do.
Truth is Carr needs legit competition and he needs a fire lit under him. Gruden and Mayock have talked about how happy they are with Carr, but getting Mariota shows they will look at options and they still may look in the draft. Hi Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts!
Regardless of the Raiders moves at quarterback, Carr needs play at a high level or he may be searching for a new job by the end of the summer. The quarterback room is improved but will Carr be leading the way in Week 1? We’ll see.
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