Jon Gruden says Raiders plan to keep Derek Carr: ‘(I’m) anxious to build around him’

The Raiders are making the move to Las Vegas this offseason, and it has long been speculated that they will do it without quarterback Derek Carr, but that speculation appears now to be a bit misguided. However, the speculation began because head coach Jon Gruden has never seen a quarterback that he does not like, and with this impressive rookie class coming in and the robust quarterback market in free agency if the Raiders were going to move on from Carr, this is definitely the time to do it. In his end-of-the-year press conference, Gruden gave a non-committal answer when asked about Carr’s future. Ahead of the NFL combine, however, he gave a much more specific answer — saying he was anxious to continue to build around Carr.

“I really think Derek is a heck of a player, and I got a lot of respect for what he has done in what was some tough circumstances,” Gruden told Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “So I’m not going to answer every media rumor out there, just can’t do it. I’m just going to listen to my serious rock and roll, classic vinyl and keep working. But I love what Derek Carr did, I love what he brings to our team and anxious to continue to build around him.”

The Raiders went 7-9 in 2019, which was a step up from their 4-12 record in 2018. Carr also put up some career numbers, as he completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 4,054 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported in late December that the Raiders will at least consider making a change at quarterback, although there’s also a chance they’ll stick with Carr. Releasing Carr would only cost the team roughly $5 million in dead cap space. 

Earlier this week, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock was also asked about Carr, and he told reporters that he was “happy” with his quarterback, but didn’t rule out that the Raiders could look to upgrade.

“Derek played at a high level last season,” Mayock said, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I’m very happy with Derek. But as I’ve said before, we will evaluate every position on our roster, and if there’s a chance to upgrade, we will look into that.”

Carr has thrown 143 touchdowns in six seasons with the Raiders. While he has shined at times, his 55 career losses are the second-most for any quarterback through their first six seasons. The quarterback who has suffered the most losses in his first six seasons? Derek’s brother, David Carr. 

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