Oakland Raiders: Ranking team’s offensive positional needs this offseason

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images /
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Oakland Raiders
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

5. Quarterback

Despite the mass of humanity jumping off the Derek Carr bandwagon, he is going to remain this team’s starter for 2019 – at the very least. Smart money is on him playing out his contract and quite possibly, signing a new deal after the 2022 season when he’ll be just 31-years old and technically, still in his prime as a signal caller.

People turned on Carr quickly when he stumbled out of the gate this year and looked like a man stealing that $125 million the team lavished upon him. But, as the season progressed and he got more comfortable in Gruden’s offensive system – his fourth new system in his five years as a pro if you’re scoring at home – he started to get better. Much better.

Until that clunker of a season finale in Kansas City, Carr had gone 10 games and 328 straight passes without a pick after starting the year with eight in five games. Carr is finally starting to get comfortable in Gruden’s offense – something it took even Raiders legend Rich Gannon a season or two to do.

The point is, Carr is going to remain the team’s starter for the foreseeable future. So if you took him in your office “cut pool,” you probably just threw your money away.

While the starting quarterback situation is a done deal, that doesn’t mean the Raiders don’t need a quarterback still. Though Carr has only missed a couple of games over his five seasons under center, the Raiders do need a reliable backup – just in case.

And while yes, they do currently have A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman in house, does anybody actually trust them to hold down the fort should Carr go down with an injury? Yeah, didn’t think so.

They could conceivably stick with McCarron as he’s under contract for a mere $3 million for the 2019 season – though, they could cut him without incurring any dead money. And Peterman – well – let’s just say it’s not likely he makes next year’s 53-man roster.

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It doesn’t seem likely the team uses a draft pick on a quarterback, which means if they think they can upgrade over McCarron, they’ll have to dip into the free agent market. A couple of intriguing possibilities who will be out there are Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s had some success, and Teddy Bridgewater – though, the latter seems unlikely at best.

A couple of other intriguing names to keep an eye on are Landry Jones, Robert Griffin III, and of course, Colin Kaepernick, who would be a big upgrade as a backup quarterback.

This is the lowest on the list of priorities for Gruden, so don’t be surprised if it it’s not touched on at all this offseason.