Jon Gruden is committed to rebuilding the Raiders in his image. That means Derek Carr’s days as Oakland’s starting quarterback are numbered.
Anyone expecting the Oakland Raiders to act like a stable franchise under Jon Gruden clearly hasn’t been paying attention. That dysfunction is going to make its way to the team’s quarterback position this offseason. All signs point to Oakland cutting ties with Derek Carr and going for a quarterback in round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
It’s obvious everyone on the Raiders roster is for sale. The latest news coming out of Gruden’s team is that Oakland wants a first-round pick in exchange for Amari Cooper. Originally, most people believed Cooper was a player Gruden wanted to build around. After just six weeks of action, he already find himself on the outside of his coach’s plans.
It’s only a matter of time before Carr finds himself in the same boat. If the team had another legitimate option at the quarterback position right now, he’d probably already be glued to the bench. Fortunately for Carr, everyone knows A.J. McCarron isn’t the answer under center.
That means Carr should be reasonably safe for the remainder of this season. Things will change once the Raiders’ regular season reaches its merciful conclusion. As soon as Gruden finishes coaching Game 16, he’s going to turn his full attention towards blowing up the entire roster.
Priority number one for Oakland will be to fix its floundering offense. Simply put, they aren’t going to pay Carr over $70 million over the next four seasons to be their quarterback. Instead, look for the team to part ways with him and start over. It may surprise you to learn that the Raiders can part ways with Carr this summer for the relatively modest price of $15 million in dead cap space spread over the next three seasons.
Given the way the Raiders season is currently progressing, Oakland will be armed with a very high draft pick. That’s going to give Gruden a chance to draft a really highly touted signal-caller in April. It’s impossible to imagine the cocky head coach passing up that kind of opportunity. Gruden is the sort of guy who always believes he’s the smartest guy in the room. This offseason will give him plenty of time to talk himself into believing that one of this draft’s quarterbacks is a future Hall of Famer.
Whether Raiders fans like it or not, Gruden has a stranglehold on their franchise at the moment. He’s going to make all the decisions in Oakland for years to come. Expect one of his more controversial calls this offseason to be a changing of the guard at the game’s most important position.