After surviving many regime changes, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will have to do so again in 2022. Has he done enough to earn a spot next season?
End Of An Era
In Carr’s eight years in the NFL, he has played for numerous head coaches and offensive coordinators. From Dennis Allen, Tony Sparano, and Jack Del Rio, none were as established as Jon Gruden. When the former Super Bowl winner returned to the Raiders, many believed his offensive expertise would take Carr’s play to new heights. After a little over three seasons together, this was the case. In their first year together in 2018, Carr would eclipse 4,000 passing yards for the first time. He would increase that number with each subsequent season and is on pace to do the same in 2021.
The one thing these two could not do together was: win. A 22-31 record together inspired ire from many Raiders fans. Alas, after 53 games together, Gruden is no longer the coach of the Raiders. That now begs the question, can Carr survive another regime change?
Often when NFL teams introduce a new coaching staff, the front office looks to pair them with a young quarterback. We’ve seen this with Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, etc. If the Raiders can hire a bright and young offensive mind, would they look to do the same?
It will all depend on how the Raiders perform throughout the rest of 2021-22. If the Raiders end up selecting in the top five of next year’s NFL draft, a situation could arise where the team elects to move on. Getting a young passer like Malik Willis or Matt Corral would add a new level of excitement to Las Vegas.
More Of The Same
The best way Carr can lock up a spot next season? Keep up the good work. While the offense has struggled immensely the last two weeks, Carr is still on pace to throw for well over 5,000 yards this season. If the offense can show improvement as a whole, and the Raiders return to their winning ways, Carr can reinsert himself into the MVP conversation. It is not a conversation about if Carr can play at a high level as much as it is, will he.
Certainly, the Raiders are a long way away from a decision such as this one. They still have twelve games left to play in 2021. However, as Carr enters his age 30 season, it may be time to look toward the future. On the other hand, if Carr can hold serve and play the way Raider Nation knows he can, this could all be a moot point.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images