After an offseason of uncertainty, the Las Vegas Raiders are going with Derek Carr at quarterback. There were rumors about the Silver and Black parting ways with the veteran or even drafting a signal-caller early in the draft. Nevertheless, Carr is the starter moving forward with one caveat: The team signed Marcus Mariota to back him up.
It all has been mixed results and signals with Carr
The Raiders haven’t had the production they envisioned from Carr when they gave him a five-year $125 contract extension. Although the quarterback’s deal pales in comparison to the newest contracts others have signed, it’s fair to assume the Silver and Black expected more from Carr.
Amid chatter ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, Raiders brass never unconditionally endorsed Carr. Whether it was their strategy or they sincerely didn’t see him as a starter, he’s the starter moving forward.
The Raiders got a competent player to backup Derek Carr
The Raiders did bring in one player to back Carr up though, former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. Although the team has lacked a competent backup, it’s uncertain if Mariota will really keep that role the whole season. The Hawaii product has incentives in his contract that pay him well in case he starts and plays well.
Pro Football Focus ranked the Raiders backup quarterback position as the sixth-best in the NFL. The main reason for that is the fact both quarterbacks have nearly identical stats.
I believe Mariota will be the Raiders’ starting QB by December; it’s rare to see pure backup QBs land a two-year, $17.6 million contract. Either way, we’re essentially looking at the same player.
Even though PFF acknowledges Carr is the better player, they point out this is the first year Mariota is an offense that doesn’t prioritize running the football.
Carr has been the much better player recently. With that said, Mariota has the clear rushing advantage and for the first time will enter an offense not committed to establishing the run at all costs.
If Carr plays well, the Raiders won’t need Mariota’s services. On the other hand, if Carr falters, head coach Jon Gruden will probably give Mariota a chance to show what he has. If Carr plays at a high level, the whole team will benefit, and Mariota will play the role of insurance. It’s better to have one and not use it than not having one when you need it.
On the other hand, if Carr has a subpar performance, the Raiders will have options at the quarterback position. The same applies if the veteran quarterback goes down with an injury. Having said that, nobody is rooting for Carr to fail. In fact, the Silver and Black have allocated plenty of resources to the quarterback and it’s time for them to get a return.
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