The NFL offseason began with plenty of speculation regarding the Las Vegas Raiders’ plans under center.
After all, they had been tied to rumors regarding now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady last year. They continued to swirl amid the uncertainty with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson this time around.
However, the Raiders opted to keep things intact by sticking with Carr and Marcus Mariota under center. While the drama surrounding Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers provides an intriguing opportunity, it seems head coach Jon Gruden does not plan to bite.
According to ESPN, Gruden is happy with Carr as the centerpiece of the offense.
And as a source told ESPN.com, Gruden is very happy with Carr, and Las Vegas has retooled the defense to, in effect, give Carr some help. Remember, it was the defense that collapsed late in mind-numbing home losses to the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins (then again, the defense showed up late to close out wins at the Carolina Panthers, Chargers and Denver Broncos).
There were reports that Las Vegas was among the possible destinations for the disgruntled Rodgers leading up to the 2021 NFL season. Although the prospect of bringing in the reigning MVP is hard to ignore, it appears that is not the primary point of concern for Gruden.
It is no secret that the defense had been the Achilles heel behind this team’s downfall during their collapse in the second half of the 2020 campaign. Fortunately, the team made efforts to fill some of the notable voids on that side of the ball through free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, Carr posted career highs in passing yards (4,103), yards per completion (11.8), quarterback rating (101.4) and total QBR (71.0) last season. This has given Gruden good reason to be optimistic that he can take this team back to the playoffs with some help from the defense.
If the Raiders were interested in making a deal with the Packers, they would likely have to form a package that includes high draft picks and promising, young players. This would be a heavy price to pay to improve an area that was not deemed a weakness in the first place.
The timing of the offseason would also present another challenge for Gruden to fine-tune the offense around Rodgers’ skill set. Las Vegas was already among the teams that voted to opt out of in-person OTA’s.