The Las Vegas Raiders’ starting quarterback has found his name getting dragged through the mud recently. Almost all of it can be pointed to a story that made headway involving Derek Carr, Tom Brady, and former Raiders’ tsar Jon Gruden. Thanks to all the conjecture being revived by UFC president Dana White, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith weighed in on the matter recently.
Following White’s claim that a deal to have Brady land with the Raiders two years ago crashed the internet, many wondered what could’ve been. Despite being considered over the hill, Brady went on to win a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay after Gruden nixed the deal. It was a deal that White claims he helped to put together. Never one to filter what he says, Smith was quite blunt in his assessment of that deal. More importantly, what might’ve been with Brady in Vegas, and assuming it had gone through, Carr playing elsewhere.
So, what did Stephen A. Smith have to say about Derek Carr and Tom Brady?
â€œDerek Carr, you on the clock. When I hear that Tom Brady could have been a Las Vegas Raider, it provokes me to look at whoÂ is a Las Vegas Raider. When I think about Derek Carr, let me be very, very clear. Derek Carr is a good dude by all accounts. When you think about a franchise player and the integrity that he appears to possess and the way he represents a franchise, that is somebody you want to have faith in, OK? You want to have faith in (him). He’s not a scrub, he can play. I don’t want anyone to misconstrue what I’m trying to say.”
Is Smith right in his feelings towards Carr and Brady?
Smith’s initial response does get one thing right: he’s definitely on the clock. The Raiders have lofty expectations after a busy offseason. A boatload of talent was acquired thanks in part to a new regime that’s trying to instill a new philosophy, a winning one. The duo of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler made it clear from the outset that they were trying to win with Carr. Their actions ended up backing their words, to say the least.
However, Smith did make it known that his criticism was stemming from Carr’s lack of postseason wins, which compared to Brady’s, well, there is no comparison.
â€œBut damn it, Derek Carr has never won a playoff game. Been in the league seven, eight years â€” he ain’t never won a playoff game, OK? â€¦Last year was the first time he had made the playoffs in five years. He’s got a 57-70 record overall. They got to the playoffs once time since then, which was last year. They got beat in the postseason. When I look at Derek Carr, I’m going like this: Right now, Derek Carr might be the worst quarterback in the AFC West. I’m not saying definitively. We’ll see what you do.”
A brief look back…
The fact is, Brady on the Raiders wouldn’t have equated to a Super Bowl. At the time, Brady joined a team that had arguably the best defense in the NFL at the time. That was a major, if not the most important, factor in them winning the whole thing. The Raiders, on the other hand, were still in rebuild mode thanks to Gruden tearing down a playoff roster from 2016.
In the end, things have worked out well for the Raiders since then. They returned to the playoffs last season and now, possessing a loaded roster, look to do some damage this year. In fact, DraftKings has Carr listed as one of their 15 betting favorites to win NFL MVP. No doubt that Raider Nation has plenty to say about Smith’s reaction to all of this.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images