Derek Carr: I'm going to be Raiders' QB 'a long time'
Source: By Adam Maya NFL.com
Speculation was rampant prior to the 2019 NFL Draft that the Raiders were considering taking a quarterback. Oakland owned the No. 4 overall pick and two others in the first round and was being linked to Drew Lock and Kyler Murray, if the Arizona Cardinals passed on the latter.
Derek Carr said he knew all along the Raiders weren’t selecting his successor high in the draft. Oakland, as it turned out, didn’t pick a quarterback at all. Carr had some fun addressing the rumors for the first time since the draft following Day 1 of Raiders OTAs.
“Honestly, it got annoying after a while,” he told reporters. “I’m like, ‘Really, they don’t have nothing else to talk about?’ And I didn’t help the situation, trying to challenge people to fights. But to be honest with you, I shouldn’t have said nothing.”
Oakland’s franchise QB, you might remember, fired off a few tweets (here and here) in January in which he suggested ESPN’s Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith meet him in the UFC Octagon. On Tuesday, Carr revealed that Jon Gruden and the Raiders brass made it clear to him before the draft that he wasn’t being traded this offseason and he is their guy moving forward.
“The owner, the GM, the head coach and the quarterback, I don’t know about other places, but here, we’re all on the same page,” he said. “I talk to all three of those guys all the time. They tell me good, bad and ugly. We are always on the same page because that’s what our team needs. That’s what the good organizations do.
“And so, from the beginning, I’ll say it this way, man, I met with all of them, talked with all of them. When I watched the draft there was like negative-47 percent chance they were going to draft somebody in my mind. Hopefully those guys didn’t have their hopes up. But it wasn’t going to happen. They pretty much said that literally every time it even came up, if it even came up. We’re not just planning for this year. I’m honestly going to be here a long time. And so I hope that’s OK with you guys, but you got to get used to me.”
His contract suggests as much. He still has four years left at just under 20 million a season from the five-year extension he signed in the summer of 2017. The conversation surrounding him, however, has changed dramatically since he briefly became the highest-paid player in the league based on annual value.
After his 2016 campaign generated MVP buzz, Carr’s performance dipped in each of the past two seasons — and the Raiders’ record has gone with it. He set career highs in passing yards (4,049) and completion percentage (68.9) in 2018. But he also threw a career-low 19 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, all while the Raiders bottomed out at 4-12. That was just one more win than Oakland earned in Carr’s rookie year.
Playing for three head coaches in five seasons — four if you count interim Tony Sparano — probably hasn’t helped the former second-round pick. Carr still likely needs to show improvement if he’s going to win over his current one and make it to Las Vegas. Gruden holds as much decision-making power as any coach in the league, save for Bill Belichick. Moreover, he has nine years left on his contract, so he isn’t leaving anytime soon.
For what it’s worth, Carr said neither is he.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Carr reiterated. “This is my team and it will be for the next however long I want to play.”