The Raiders are committed to Derek Carr. Unless they aren’t.
The more accurate statement would be “until they aren’t,” because G.M. Mike Mayock made it clear on Thursday that Carr will continue as the team’s quarterback for as long as the team believe that it’s in the team’s best interests to do so.
“Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback, and we believe that,” Mayock said Thursday. “Beyond that, just like at any other position, we’re going to do our due diligence. If we found somebody we liked better, or thought had a bigger upside, you’ve got to do the right thing for the organization.”
That’s the closest anyone with the Raiders has come to telling the truth regarding the manner in which the Raiders regard Carr. And that may be news to Carr, who apparently bristled via Twitter at the mere news of a private workout with incoming rookie Kyler Murray and who presumably has received far different messages from Gruden privately.
Indeed, Gruden has sent far different messages regarding Carr publicly.
“He’s our franchise quarterback. Let me make that clear,” Gruden said at the Scouting Combine in February.
“Yeah, he’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said last month, at the annual league meetings. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors, you know?”
But the rumors linger, and Mayock’s comments will do nothing to quell them. Mayock could have said that, for example, the Raiders worked out Murray and Dwayne Haskins so that the Raiders would be able to properly value those players in the event an opportunity arises to trade the right to draft one of both of them, by moving down in round one from the fourth overall pick. Mayock didn’t say that, however. He said that the Raiders are looking at alternatives to Carr because “[i]f we found somebody we liked better, or thought had a bigger upside, you’ve got to do the right thing for the organization.”
So, basically, the Raiders like Carr enough to keep him. Until they find someone they like better. And that could happen in as soon as 13 days, when the Raiders use any of the three first-round picks they hold in the 2019 draft.
If there was any ambiguity about that before, there shouldn’t be now. Meanwhile, I’m going to go check Carr’s Twitter feed.