On Tuesday, we posted an item based on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr claiming that he is tired of being disrespected. The seventh-year quarterback had plenty more to say during his Tuesday sun’s-out-guns-out media availability.
“I played better last year than I did in 2016,” Carr said, among other things.
That sounds like a stretch on the surface, given that Carr in 2016 was one of the top candidates in the MVP race through early December, when a bad performance at Kansas City took him out of the running. But he had a significantly higher completion percentage in 2019 than in 2016, a higher yards-per-attempt figure, and a slightly higher quarterback rating. That said, he threw more touchdown passes (28 versus 21) and fewer interceptions (six versus eight) in 2016.
Regardless, Carr played well last year. Which makes him even saltier about the way he’s treated.
“I just don’t care anymore,” Carr said, proving that he definitely still cares. “You can say what you want. I’m trying to go to the Super Bowl so we can hang one of those banners in this beautiful indoor [facility] that we’ve got and then I want to try and do it again. Then do it again until I’m too old and they kick me out of this place.”
His Raiders career may still die before he gets old. Indeed, the disrespect of Carr isn’t simply external. G.M. Mike Mayock has said, on several occasions, that the team actively is looking for upgrades at every position, including quarterback. While in many respects that’s a given, teams with franchise quarterbacks never say that.
“[W]hen you go 7-9, people like to make stuff up,” Carr said. But what’s being made up? They went 7-9. With Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, Drew Lock in Denver, and Justin Herbert in L.A., the Raiders could end up languishing in the division for years to come, without a high-end franchise quarterback.
They signed Marcus Mariota this year, possibly as a shot across Carr’s bow. If the Raiders fail to contend for a postseason berth in an AFC playoff field that has expanded to seven, the Raiders may quit trying to coax more wins from Carr, and simply move on.
Whether that happens depends on Carr. It’s good that he’s upset. The question now becomes what is he going to do about it?