You can ask ten different people and you will get ten different opinions about Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr. Nevertheless, ‘4’ got positive reviews from different personnel executives around the NFL.
Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated reached out to different team management members to find out what they think about the Raiders quarterback. One general manager described Carr as someone that ‘wins ball games’. A second general manager opines that ‘DC4’ is ‘guilty of being a good quarterback on a team with a bad defense’. He adds that with a good defense, Las Vegas would be a whole different team. Finally, another general manager agrees the defense is holding Carr and the team back.
Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News sees Carr as the ‘Phil Simms of this era’. Someone who has Simms’ skillset without the defense he had when he helped the New York Giants win two Super Bowls. The three general managers agreed with Gosselin’s assessment. In fact, one of them believes Carr is a better quarterback than Simms.
Is defense the only thing holding the Raiders back?
Carr is a good quarterback, nobody will deny that. Depending on the year, he fluctuates between the sixth-best quarterback and 12th best in the NFL. He normally ranks around the top 10 of most offensive categories and is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL. However, he’s not without fault. Although he hardly throws interceptions, he has a penchant for fumbling the ball. In the last four years, he’s led the league in fumbles twice.
Per Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, the Raiders allowed 88 points off turnovers in 2020, tied for fifth-most. Their defense is their biggest issue but their offense shouldn’t be blameless. NFL insider Adam Caplan recently said there was a belief Carr would get a contract extension. However, Vic Tafur of the Athletic shut down all the talk and added that there’s nothing to report in that end.
All the general managers were right about something. If the Raiders want to become a perennial contender, they need to fix the defense. Could they use an upgrade at the quarterback position? Sure, but that shouldn’t be their top priority this offseason.
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*Top photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images