If the Raiders take a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft, does that mean Derek Carr will be playing elsewhere in 2019? Not necessarily.
Peter King writes in Football Morning in America that a lot of people around the NFL think the Raiders will take a quarterback high but keep Carr as well.
The Chiefs executed that strategy perfectly two years ago: They traded up into the Top 10 of the draft to select Patrick Mahomes, but they kept Alex Smith as their starter while Mahomes learned from the sideline as a rookie. Even though Smith took them to the playoffs that year, he was traded the following offseason, Mahomes became the starter, and he was the best quarterback in football. That worked out pretty well.
It wouldn’t be hard for the Raiders to move on from Carr this year, as he would carry a dead cap hit of only $7.5 million if he were released. But the Raiders may choose to keep him around this year, even if Jon Gruden prefers a first-round draft pick as the team’s franchise quarterback once they’re playing in Las Vegas. The Raiders have three first round picks (fourth, 24th and 27th overall), so they’ll have plenty of options at quarterback. And one option might be taking a rookie, but giving him a year to learn as a backup.