The Raiders seem set to move on from Derek Carr as soon as the time is right, and these three quarterbacks who may be available to them would be an upgrade.
From rumored ties to interest in incoming draft prospects to a pursuit of Tom Brady last offseason to signing Marcus Mariota in an effort to push him, the Las Vegas Raiders are continually looking at quarterback options other than Derek Carr. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have not been flawless, but their patience with that should be noted.
In a lot of respects, Carr is one of the more disrespected quarterbacks in the NFL. The Raiders faded to 8-8 and out of the playoffs after a 6-3 start in 2020, but Carr set career-highs in passing yards (4,103), passer rating (101.4), QBR (71.0) and yards per completion (11.8).
The Raiders have reportedly gotten calls from other teams on Carr, but they’d reportedly prefer to trade Mariota. That reeks of an attempt to exercise leverage or a call to get better offers, by practically saying “Hey look over here at this former No. 2 overall pick who looked solid when he played as our backup.”
In any case, it seems like a matter of time before the Raiders move on from Carr and the light cap implications make it possible this offseason ($2.5 million in dead money on a $22.125 million cap hit; with the remainder in cleared cap space).
3 available quarterbacks the Raiders can target to upgrade on Derek Carr
3. Mac Jones
Outside the top-10 in April’s draft, assuming he’s not a top-10 pick himself, Mac Jones is an easy favorite to be the next quarterback drafted. The New England Patriots may have their eye on him at No. 15, and the Raiders should prioritize defense at No. 17 anyway.
Jones surely benefitted from throwing to NFL-caliber wide receivers at Alabama, which affects his NFL evaluation as he’s not regarded as a high-end athlete along the trend of more mobile quarterbacks. But it’s not as if Carr is a particularly mobile quarterback himself, and Jones succeeded against high-level competition during his lone full season as a college starter.
If Gruden and Mayock think Jones can step in right away and succeed, or maybe even sit a year behind Carr and then take over, he could be their pick at 17 or a trade up to get him could be an order.