Rumors spread that head coach Jon Gruden prefers Marcus Mariota as the team’s starting quarterback.
But those speculations were laid to rest as Carr remained in the Raiders roster in 2021.
That’s an easy decision, to begin with, because the Raiders are better off with him.
They still finished 8-8 last season, which slightly improved from 7-9 in 2019 and 4-12 two seasons ago.
But here’s why sticking with Carr is a no-brainer.
Intense Quarterback Battle In The AFC West
The Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, a league MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and world champion.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers found a gem in Justin Herbert, last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Simply put, Derek Carr gives them a chance against these two quarterbacks and an edge against the Denver Broncos’ Drew Lock.
With him under center, the Raiders won one game apiece against the Chiefs and the Chargers in 2020.
They also took both games against the Broncos.
“We went 2-6 in this building last year because ya’ll weren’t here.” – Derek Carr pic.twitter.com/HZLEi4rwsa
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) August 8, 2021
That’s four of their eight victories, and undeniably, Carr was in charge of the offense.
On a macro scale, his numbers are impressive.
He had the 11th-most passing yards with 4,103 and threw for 27 touchdowns.
Carr is still their best chance to win, and Mariota cannot replicate his production.
The Quarterback Market Is Dry
Supposing that the Raiders are keen on getting rid of Carr, who do they get to take his place?
Carson Wentz wanted out of Philadelphia, but is he really an upgrade from Carr?
Aaron Rodgers was unhappy with the Green Bay Packers but look where he will be playing.
Deshaun Watson also demanded a trade from the Houston Texans, but there are more issues that he needs to address.
Russell Wilson also had a falling out with the Seattle Seahawks, but he’s still their quarterback.
Unless they can get any of the quarterbacks mentioned, the Raiders are better off with Carr.
With no alternative options left, the franchise stayed put.
Likewise, these players will demand top dollar, which the Raiders don’t have given their salary cap situation.
With no wiggle room financially, it’s best to keep Carr in his position.
An Improved Raiders Offense
Carr will have another run with a talented cast around him.
Tight end Darren Waller was a revelation last season with 107 receptions and 1,196 receiving yards.
They will also have Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs, who surpassed 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons in the NFL.
A soaring start:
Derek Carr connects with Foster Moreau in the Allegiant Stadium end zone.
There will be more touchdowns to come in 2021 and #RaiderNation will get to see them in Las Vegas.#8NN pic.twitter.com/uhsVjFq66b
— Jon Tritsch (@hometownJT) August 8, 2021
Kenyan Drake is coming off his best season and will form a punishing duo with Jacobs on the backfield.
With these weapons in place, the Raiders need Derek Carr to stir the pot.
Gruden’s offense isn’t necessarily the simplest, but Carr can make it work.
They need impressive performances to draw the crowd as they start to play in their new home field.
Without Carr, the Raiders will have a losing campaign in their first season at Allegiant Stadium.