Raiders

Derek Carr might not go with Raiders to Las Vegas, Mike Florio says

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AP

Derek Carr might not go with Raiders to Las Vegas, Mike Florio says

The Raiders have one final season at the Coliseum before they move to Las Vegas in 2020, but will Derek Carr still be the starting quarterback when they get to Sin City?

After ranking in the bottom third of the league in total offense last year, Oakland has been quite busy this offseason, acquiring players to help bolster its offensive attack.

The Raiders traded for Antonio Brown and signed fellow wide receiver Tyrell Williams in free agency. They also used a first-round draft pick on running back Josh Jacobs, and signed massive offensive tackle Trent Brown, who just won a Super Bowl protecting Tom Brady for the New England Patriots.

Given all of these additions on the offensive side of the ball, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio believes this will be a make-or-break season for Carr, and doubts he'll still be a member of the team when they move to Vegas if he disappoints.

"Think of it this way," Florio wrote. "If the chemistry experiment/Frankenstein monster that starts and ends with [Antonio Brown] fails, whose fault will it be? Brown’s? Nope. [Jon] Gruden’s? Nope. [Mike] Mayock’s? Nope. If the Raiders fail to get the most out of Antonio Brown, it will be the fault of the guy who will be under immense pressure to deliver the ball with the same underrated precision that Ben Roethlisberger delivered it for nine years in Pittsburgh.

[RELATED: Watch Raiders' Brown do insane agility drill involving brick]

"If Derek Carr can step up," Florio continued, "great for him and the Raiders. If he can’t, he’ll quite possibly be the highest-profile member of the organization to not enjoy the freedom from paying state income tax that goes with moving from California to Nevada."

The fact that Gruden and Mayock inherited Carr -- as opposed to drafting him -- seems relevant here. If he can't take a step forward with a significantly improved offense around him, the Raiders might just be debuting a new stadium and a new quarterback a little more than a year from now.

Mike Zimmer has second-guessed Daniel Carlson cut, which led kicker to Raiders

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USATSI

Mike Zimmer has second-guessed Daniel Carlson cut, which led kicker to Raiders

ALAMEDA – The Minnesota Vikings took the first kicker in last year’s NFL draft. They had pick of the litter and chose Daniel Carlson.

The Auburn product was awesome in college, with all the power and accuracy and mental fortitude to be an excellent NFL kicker.

Top talent, however, doesn’t guarantee perfection. Carlson was not that with the Vikings, especially in a Week 2 tie with Green Bay where he missed three field goals.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t pleased, and he cut the fifth-round pick right away.

He had this to say when asked about the swift ax.

“Did you see the game?” Zimmer said last year. He called the decision “pretty easy.”

In hindsight, it may have been made in haste.

Carlson took some time off after that cut to work on his technique in private, and emerged a better kicker for the experience. The Raiders benefitted from that, acquiring a specialist who looks like a long-term solution.

Carlson set a Raiders franchise record for single-season field goal accuracy in 2018, converting 94 percent of his attempts.

It’s possible that Carlson turned things around only after a tough exit from Minnesota, but letting Carlson go has weighed some on Zimmer’s mind.

He said so in a Wednesday conference call leading up to Sunday’s game between the Raiders and Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“I mean, do I have regrets?” Zimmer said. “I like our kicker who we have now, but did I second guess it? Sure. He’s done great there, and I think he’s a very, very talented kid. I wish him well, just not this week. But no, I’m happy for him and in retrospect, I guess, yeah, I’ve thought about it many times.”

[RELATED: Why Raiders' Joyner is encouraged by team's mindset]

That thought may have crossed Zimmer’s mind more last season, even with veteran Dan Bailey in purple. He hit just 75 percent of his field goals last season, while Carlson was near perfect.

NFL rumors: Chiefs will be 'primary suitor' for Jalen Ramsey trade

NFL rumors: Chiefs will be 'primary suitor' for Jalen Ramsey trade

The Chiefs probably aren't done giving the Raiders headaches this season, and they might do it on defense when they meet again Dec. 1 in Kansas City. 

Many NFL general managers believe the Chiefs "will emerge as a primary suitor" for disgruntled Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora tweeted Tuesday. 

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill didn't wait long to start recruiting Ramsey on Twitter that morning.

The Raiders saw firsthand what the Chiefs' offense could do in Sunday's 28-10 loss at the Coliseum, but Kansas City's defense hasn't been as strong in the nascent Patrick Mahomes era. The Chiefs allowed the second-most passing yards (4,374) last season, and have given up the 13th-most through two games in 2019. Kansas City revamped its defensive line and added Tyrann Mathieu to its secondary in order to address those defensive deficiencies, but Ramsey's arrival could send the Chiefs defense into another stratosphere.

The 25-year-old is -- at least -- one of the five best cornerbacks in the NFL, with more than enough game to back up his constant trash talk. Pro Football Focus found that, since 2016, just four corners have allowed a lower completion percentage (53.8 percent) than Ramsey.

[RELATED: Why Raiders DB Joyner is encouraged by team's mindset]

Sunday proved that the Raiders won't be competing with the Chiefs for AFC West supremacy this season, but Ramsey's arrival would widen the gap between the two franchises even further -- at least in the immediate future. Given Ramsey's stated desire to play in Las Vegas, such a move would hurt the Silver and Black beyond the franchise's final game at Oakland Coliseum. Ramsey can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season, and the Chiefs can afford him since Mahomes, the reigning NFL MVP, still is playing on his rookie deal.

Acquiring star receiver Antonio Brown blew up in the Raiders' collective faces, but seeing another superstar in Ramsey suit up for a division rival -- that already is a juggernaut -- could sting the Raiders even more.