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Who Could Replace Derek Carr for the Raiders?

In his second season in Jon Gruden’s system, Derek Carr had a much better year than his first. Carr was accurate throwing the football, completing over 70% of his passes. He also limited turnovers and led one of the most efficient offenses in the league. Despite this, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding Carr’s future with the Raiders. Head coach Jon Gruden hasn’t exactly spoken glowingly of Carr, and many fans have grown increasingly frustrated with Carr’s performance. Carr will hit the cap at about $21.5 million in 2020. The Raiders, however, could save more than $15 million if it releases the quarterback. If the Raiders go in another direction, who will replace Carr in Las Vegas? Excluding rookie signal-callers, let’s take a look at a few feasible options to be the new Raiders starting quarterback in 2020. 

Marcus Mariota

Marcus Mariota’s time in Tennessee seems to be just about over. While inconsistent, Mariota showed solid upside in his time with the Titans. He also would likely be a relatively cheap option in free agency. Mariota has potential, and Gruden has a track record of thinking he can unlock whatever potential quarterbacks have. Mariota could definitely be an option for the Raiders. 

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater never set the world on fire as a starter in Minnesota. He did, however, prove to be a smart and safe option under center and limit turnovers. Bridgewater then suffered a devastating knee injury, after which he landed in New Orleans, proving to be a solid backup to Drew Brees. When Brees missed five games in 2019-20, Bridgewater went undefeated while throwing nine touchdowns compared to two interceptions. Bridgewater would likely be a bit more expensive and take a long-term commitment, but he could be somebody to keep an eye on.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton is one of the most talented players in the league, but he has struggled for the Panthers in recent years. Newton also has been very prone to injuries, leaving his future in Carolina in question. The Raiders would need to trade to acquire Newton, and it is uncertain at this time whether or not Carolina has plans to trade its quarterback. Newton’s deal would be comparable to Carr’s with around the same number of a cap hit for next season. If Newton can stay healthy and focused, his upside is league MVP. Taking a flyer on Superman might not be the worst idea.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) throws a pass in action against the New England Patriots Sunday October 1, 2017 in Foxboro, Mass (Damian Strohmeyer via AP)

Tom Brady

Tom Brady’s future in New England, for the first time, is truly in doubt. It is not certain whether or not Bill Belichick believes that Brady is the best option for the Patriots any longer. Brady, however, wants to continue playing. He would likely require a very large payday, as he has famously taken large pay cuts throughout his career. Jon Gruden would relish the opportunity to coach the G.O.A.T., even in the final stages of his career. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, has no state income tax, and Gisele would, without question, love it. If Brady truly ends up playing in a non-Patriots uniform, the Raiders may be the most likely outcome.

Nov 2, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) pumps his fist after a touchdown throw during the third quarter of New England’s 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

While there has been a lot of speculation regarding the future quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders, the most likely option is that Derek Carr will continue to be the starting quarterback of the Raiders in 2020. Gruden will want to see him with a true number one receiver, and yet another year in the system. Even if this is the case, Gruden will likely add someone behind Carr to give him a bit of a push. If Carr is gone, however, there are many names that could feasibly take his spot.

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