As the longest offseason in history drags on towards what we hope will be training camp Derek Carr continues to be beaten up in the “experts” Qb rankings. Coming off arguably his best season you might expect the former 36th pick to get more love, but it’s simply not happening.
But with the Raiders signing former Titans QB Marcus Mariota as a backup for $17.6 million over 2-years, can you blame the media for pointing out that Carr is yet to take the next step. While his 70.4% completion rate in 2019 offers promise his 4.1 TD% was below his career average.
Derek Carr did however make a number of strides that have been overlooked in 2019. In two consecutive seasons, he has improved his completion percentage from 62.7% in 2017, 68.9% in 2018, and finally 70.4% last season. The same for his interception rate which dropped from 2.5% in 2017 to 1.8% in 2018, and 1.6% in 2019.
Derek Carr’s rankings are harsh after 2019Embed from Getty Images
So while it seems that Derek Carr isn’t the poster child for media prognosticators, he is still the presumptive starter in Las Vegas for 2020. While the team could potentially move on with a dead cap of just $7.9 million in 2020, and $2.5 million in 2021 that is highly unlikely, and would be risky unless they were lining up a move for someone like Cam Newton.
Over the years we’ve all had our doubts about Derek Carr, and while they’ve not been entirely removed, 2019 was definitely a more positive year, and that was without a clear number 1 receiver and a distinct lack of weapons around him.
With the additional firepower in 2020 and the third year in coach Gruden’s offense, we will likely find out once and for all whether Derek Carr can be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL.