It seems virtually every veteran NFL quarterback has been linked to trade rumors at some point this offseason.
Derek Carr is no exception.
But the Raiders quarterback has the confidence of his general manager, Mike Mayock, who touted Carr’s value in a video press conference.
“I think Derek Carr had his best year under [coach] Jon Gruden,” Mayock said Wednesday. “I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and we couldn't be happier with him. I think Jon and I would both stand shoulder-to-shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."
There have been rumblings that Carr could be included in a possible trade package to land Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. But Carr seems more likely as a candidate for a contract extension, while his backup, Marcus Mariota, could be traded or released.
You can imagine the trade package it would take to sway Mayock for Carr after watching the Detroit Lions receive such a reportedly big haul from the Los Angeles Rams for Matthew Stafford.
When you look at the list of NFL quarterbacks who have played 16 games and topped 4,000 passing yards in each of the last three seasons, it’s pretty short: Carr, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers. From that perspective, you can see what Mayock is thinking.
But quarterbacks also are judged on wins and losses, and the Raiders have a 19-29 record in that span. However, that's not to say the blame falls squarely on Carr, as Jon Gruden has been at the helm since 2018.
Carr is about to turn 30 with a salary-cap hit of $22.125 million in 2021 and about $19.9 million for 2022 before he’s set to hit free agency. Those are team-friendly terms if Carr can keep it up the next two seasons. He had to exit Week 15 with a groin injury, but he finished out the year, and remains one of the NFL’s most consistent and reliable quarterbacks.