The Las Vegas Raiders officially have a new head coach. However, it’s likely not the person most Raiders fans were hoping for.
After failed stints with the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts (somewhat), long-time New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is getting a third chance at being an NFL head coach. The Raiders are pairing him up with former Patriots front office member Dave Ziegler. Las Vegas is blatantly taking a stab at becoming the Patriots 2.0.
Whether you’re a fan of this new Ziegler/McDaniels pairing or not, they’re responsible for the future of the Raiders, and they’re going to have to jump into the fray by deciding on current starting quarterback Derek Carr‘s future.
Does Derek Carr have a future with the Las Vegas Raiders?
Derek Carr has been the Raiders starting QB since 2014. He’s had good moments and bad moments. However, he’s been an above-average QB for the most part.
Most NFL teams would kill for the level of consistency that Carr has provided Las Vegas over the last eight seasons. He’s been a Pro Bowler three times and even got MVP consideration during the 2016 season.
This past season was arguably the most impressive of Carr’s career. Despite dealing with all sorts of internal controversy and conflict (Jon Gruden, Henry Ruggs, etc.), Carr found a way to guide the Raiders to an improbable Wild Card Round appearance.
However, none of this means Carr is locked in as the future QB of the Raiders. Reports surfaced after his playoff exit that he would be weighing the pros and cons of staying in Vegas. Now, he has a new front office/head coach duo who may want to change the position themselves.
Josh McDaniels may want his own QB to build around
It’s hard to know exactly what McDaniels may want from a future quarterback. He spent most of his NFL career building an offense around Tom Brady.
However, after watching the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow dominate the AFC, it’s reasonable to assume McDaniels wants his own respective young gunslinger.
Carr is good, but he’s not the caliber of the three names mentioned above. McDaniels could quickly push Ziegler to trade Carr for draft picks, simultaneously using those picks to get a new franchise QB via the draft — someone younger and more mobile.
Derek Carr could want a fresh start himself
On the flip side of this discussion, Carr may want a fresh start himself. He’s been through the wringer with the Raiders the past few seasons. Between moving to Las Vegas and having his GM/HC duo fired this past season, Carr could be interested in change this offseason.
Several teams are expected to be in the market for a new quarterback this spring. Carr should have options.
McDaniels and Carr may end up sticking together. However, signs point toward a change at quarterback happening sooner than later. It’s tough to imagine McDaniels and Ziegler took the Raiders job without a grand plan set in stone on how to hypothetically improve the QB position.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.