Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in terms of yards completed and completion percentage. Entering into the final year of his epic deal, the question remains whether to extend him or don’t. Only this time, his improvement hasn’t been enough.
Has “the Carr” broken 150k miles for the Raiders?
Carr and the Raiders have been through the fire together without much to show for it. Only two playoff trips, both times prior to a contract year. If he returns, it will be for his ninth season.
In Carr’s first playoff action, he threw for a respectable 310 yards and averaged the third most passing yards per game. Accompanied by his usual post-bye touchdown, one lost fumble and an interception, stop me if you’ve heard that before. His 69.2 quarterback rating is the fifth lowest in the postseason, and his 5.7 yards per completion average is the third lowest. Carr’s 53.7 percent completion mark is the only percentage in the 50’s for AFC quarterbacks, not to mention the third lowest overall. Carr’s longest pass of 26 yards netted the third shortest longest pass of the postseason.
To put the stats in context, Carr’s 54 attempts are the sixth most in the postseason despite only playing a single game. Jimmy Garoppolo is the only quarterback still playing with fewer passing attempts (44). Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford has 55 attempts. Both have played two games and are heading into the NFC championship game.
Young Man’s Game
How about five quarterbacks, all 25 years of age or younger and playing at a high level early in their careers? Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson are here to stay. All of these quarterbacks mentioned can all do things that Carr simply can’t. These guys are fearless, the kind of fearless only young men can be.
Carr is who he is at this point. He owns nearly every major passing record in franchise history. No one can praise him enough for being the glue that held the team together throughout crisis after crisis. His on-field play relays a pattern of fast starts and horrendous stretches of backup-worthy play. Through his last ten games, 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, nine fumbles, and six losses is a far cry from good, let alone elite.
Carr threw two touchdowns in a game only twice in the last ten games. Five games out of the 19 played didn’t produce a turnover. However, there was only one game in the season where a fumble and/or an interception wasn’t recorded.
Quarterbacks aren’t cockroaches
As funny as the header may sound, Carr has survived a lot of turnover in his career. That includes two general managers, three different offensive coordinators, four coordinator changes (Greg Olson twice), and five different head coaches, including two interims.
Most importantly, he has taken part in two complete franchise rebuilds.
With his sixth head coach, fourth coordinator, and third rebuild, perhaps it’s time the Raiders and Carr parted ways. One would be hard pressed to find a quarterback with a 57-70 record and only two winning seasons who has held on to a franchise as long as Carr has. Through all of the crap, mud storms, and losses, he just keeps chugging along. The problem is that the Raiders need to reopen the business of winning.
Carr must have weapons around him in order to be successful. The Raiders have a little over $27.6M in salary cap space according to spotrac.com. They have Carr’s market value at $31.3M per year. With needs on the defensive and offensive lines, as well as a glaring hole in the receiving corps extending Carr simply doesn’t make financial sense. Nor do the dollars and cents add up.
*Top Photo: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports