Raiders

Just Settle Baby: The Justification For Keeping Raiders QB Derek Carr

The Las Vegas Raiders have suffered through years of terrible quarterback play. Raiders fans have endured so many bad signal-callers since the days of Rich Gannon. Names like Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell are highlights of a quarterback search that has taken over a decade.

For many in Raider Nation, that search came to an end with the arrival of Derek Carr. But one can understand why they feel this way. Carr is hands down the best quarterback to have started for the Raiders since Gannon.

But that’s a pretty low bar to reach when all you have to do is be better than Gradkowski and Campbell. But when you’ve suffered as long as Raiders fans have, the thought of jumping back into the world of searching for the next quarterback can feel daunting.

Those who want to keep Carr often focus on fixing the rest of the team around him. The problem with that line of thinking is two-fold. The first problem is the idea that creating a team with a top-tier offensive line, run game, wide receivers, and defense is easier or more attainable than finding a top-tier quarterback.

Let’s not forget that over those years of terrible quarterback play fans sat through, we’ve also sat through terrible defensive play, terrible offensive line play, and stretches where we thought guys like Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore were about to set the league on fire because that’s how bad the wide receiver groups were.

The second problem is the idea that settling, at any position, is a good idea.

The Raiders are currently fielding a defense that is hands-down better than anything fans have seen since the Super Bowl XXXVII team. But does that mean they should stop trying to improve? They have a strong pass rush, and the middle linebacker Raiders fans have been hoping for since Rolando McClain’s mugshots. Isn’t that enough? Shouldn’t the Raiders stick with the defense the way it is and focus on areas of concern like the offensive line and receiving group?

What if trying to bring new talent to the defense ends up making it worse? What if it means we can’t afford to re-sign Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue? It could just lead to more wasted money in free agency on guys like Lamarcus Joyner? Then so be it. Being satisfied with something that is just above average to good isn’t how you win Super Bowls.

And of all the places to settle, the single-most-important position in all of football is not the place to do it. There is no other position in sports, or elsewhere, that has a larger impact than a quarterback.

Being satisfied with a guy who is above-average to good just isn’t the way a winning team goes about things.

The argument for keeping Carr…

Of course, that argument will be lost on those who believe Carr is great. For them, there is no point in this discussion. If you think Carr is great, then clearly, it would be foolish to move on from him.

But to think Carr is great, is to ignore reality.

Does Carr have great games? Absolutely.

Does Carr have the physical tools to be great? Absolutely.

Has Carr been consistently great? No.

And no, the problem isn’t that Carr has bad games now and then. As any Carr supporter will tell you, even great quarterbacks have bad games. The difference is that when Carr is not having bad games, he often isn’t having great games either. Too often, Carr has games where he puts up decent numbers but doesn’t do anything noteworthy. Carr is rarely the type of player who is the reason for his team’s victories. The argument that Carr needs a better team around him is proof that he has not been great consistently.

It’s an acknowledgment that Carr is not frequently consistent and that to find that consistency, he needs a great team around him. But I’d argue that being great consistently means you lift your team up despite the personnel around you. That isn’t something that Carr has been able to do. Again, sparks of greatness are not the same as being great.

During his time with the Raiders, Carr has enjoyed playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. He has had two different Pro Bowl running backs. He’s had a wide receiver who went to the Pro Bowl three times while playing with Carr and a Pro Bowl tight end who is hands down one of the best to do it. And that’s not even mentioning quality players like Hunter Renfrow and Michael Crabtree.

The fact of the matter is, if the Raiders want to be perennial playoff contenders and eventual Super Bowl winners, settling at the quarterback position is not the way to do it. And if they re-sign Carr, that’s exactly what they’ll be doing.

*Special thanks for James Arcellana, founder and former co-host of Black Hole Banter, for this post.

*Top Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

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vdog

So what you are saying is we need a great quarterback, one of those guys who is so good he can carry a team even when the rest of it isn’t that good? That’s great! Got anyone in mind? Are guys that good sitting on the couch right now waiting for a call? Maybe we can trade the whole team and / or our entire draft for the one that is already on someone else’s roster. Or we can just find someone like that in the draft no problem, because it’s so easy and high-round quarterback draft picks never turn… Read more »

vdog

Test

raidergreg666

You are a Dbag and terrible writer.

Mario Tovar

As the content manager I’d like to personally say: Thanks for reading! Cheers

Anonymous

Who wrote this $hit??

Mario Tovar

As the content manager I’d like to personally say: Thanks for reading! Cheers

Gneemoe baggins

We have that guy holding a clip board and he won’t cost as much against the salary cap

Raidersforlife

Numbers don’t lie, compare his to others then make the decision. Don’t even have to take into consideration that he’s never had a true #1 receiver other then good TE in waller and cook. You will see that he is consistently top 30% of qbs in the league every year.

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