Derek Carr unfazed by questions on his Raiders future, brother says

Derek Carr unfazed by questions on his Raiders future, brother says

Raiders took a close look at two top quarterbacks entering last year’s NFL draft. Head coach Jon Gruden, general manager Mike Mayock and offensive coordinator Greg Olson had dinner with Kyler Murray at a fancy Dallas restaurant last spring and worked him out extensively the following day.

They met with and worked out Dwayne Haskins shortly after that. The Raiders said the evaluation was due diligence -- the Raiders held the Nos. 4, 24 and 27 overall picks in last year’s draft, not a signal of displeasure with Carr.

That didn’t stop the speculation that the Raiders were contemplating a change at quarterback that was never made. It simply rehashed an old line that Gruden and Carr can’t work together well. False logic that has existed since Gruden returned as the Raiders head coach two years ago.

Carr knows that to be flatly untrue. All that 2019 offseason chatter still bothered him, as his brother David Carr, former Houston Texans quarterback and current NFL Network analyst said last week.

“I would say that last year, just based on the player he knows that he is, he felt like the whole offseason was frustrating,” David Carr told NBC Sports California in Miami before Super Bowl LIV. “Once again, [the outside narrative] was about whether Jon and Derek could get along together and work through all this stuff. He sees his relationship with Jon Gruden as really good. From a private standpoint, it was frustrating to have all that public [media and social media] banter going on.”

It has kicked back up again already, with reports the Raiders would go hard after Tom Brady should he not resign with the Patriots. They’ve been going strong since Brady and Raiders owner Mark Davis were photographed conversing at a UFC fight and crescendoed Sunday with ESPN’s Adam Schefter saying the Raiders would be major players should the longtime New England signal-caller hit the open market.

This follows a 2019 campaign where Carr set several personal bests but might’ve been criticized more than ever by the Raiders fan base. He was booed off the field in his last two Oakland home games, including a messy scene after the team’s East Bay finale where water bottles and food were thrown onto the field as he and other teammates personally thanked members of the Black Hole for their support.

Carr said after the Raiders season he was looking forward to the “fresh air” of a 2020 relocation to Las Vegas. Fans continue to wonder and debate whether he should be starting quarterback when Allegiant Stadium opening next summer.

That’s fueled by the fact that Carr’s contract is easily escaped. There are three years remaining on a deal through 2022, with $5 million in dead money attached to his departure this offseason, $2.5 million the next and no penalty entering the contract’s final year. He currently has no guaranteed money left on the deal, though $2.9 million locks in Wednesday.

Gruden left all windows open when asked about Carr right after the season’s end. Mayock has addressed the topic twice in offseason interviews, praising Carr’s progress while saying he’ll evaluate and look for upgrades at every position.

David Carr says all this talk doesn’t impact Derek the way it did last time around.

“This year, in the small amount of time I’ve talked to him about it in the offseason, he’s over it,” David Carr said. “He’s over it and just trying to get to Las Vegas. He thinks, ‘give me one more piece on offense. [Lets] fix the defense, maybe add a linebacker and some get some other pieces and the Raiders will be in the Super Bowl.’ That’s his mindset. He’s not giving any time, really, to all of that. He went through that last year. He’s not worried about any of that now. He says, ‘Jon and I are great.’ He wants to get the job done. They didn’t get the job done last year. But that’s where his mindset is. Honestly, he’s over it.”

[RELATED: Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener]

David considers that a healthier perspective on proceedings and a storyline that will never die.

“It’s much better to be where he’s at instead of trying to worry about it,” the analyst said. “I feel like, last year, he did. He wondered why everyone was saying things. Derek thought he and Jon Gruden got along great. The fact the public narrative was different was frustrating. Now he sees the same thing happening again and he’s just over it. He and Gruden have a great relationship. ‘Just give me some pieces and we’ll do great things.’ That’s where he’s at mentally.”

Raiders set to use rest of Khalil Mack trade assets in 2020 NFL Draft

Raiders set to use rest of Khalil Mack trade assets in 2020 NFL Draft

The Raiders traded Khalil Mack just before the 2018 regular season and didn’t get anything in return to help that year’s roster. That was a main reason why that season went up in smoke and put the Raiders’ decision under fire.

Jon Gruden in particular became a punching bag the trade's detractors, without evidence of the trade's return coming for a year or more. 

The Raiders head coach is about to get a fat dividend check. 

The Mack trade will start looking a bit different next month, because the bulk of assets exchanged will be used either to acquire NFL draftees or as trade chips.

As a reminder, the Raiders traded Mack, a 2020 second-round draft pick -- coughing up that selection remains an eybrow raiser, but it got the deal done -- and a conditional 2020 fifth-round draft pick that is now a seventh-round draft pick to Chicago for first-round draft picks in 2019 and 2020, with a 2020 third-round draft pick and a 2019 sixth-round draft pick.

The Raiders used the Bears’ 2019 first-round pick to acquire running back Josh Jacobs. That’s not a bad deal even as a straight swap, but there’s a lot more to account for when evaluating this deal.

Following where the 2019 sixth-round pick would require heading down a rabbit hole leading to Wonderland, so let’s just say it was traded to the Jets along with Kelechi Osemele for an asset that started a series of 2019 in-draft trades that helped acquire several members of an excellent draft class, including Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow.

Here’s what the Raiders have yet to use from the Mack trade:
2020 first-round draft pick (No. 19 overall)
2020 third-round draft pick (No. 81 overall)

Here’s what the Bears have yet to use from the Mack trade:
2020 second-round draft pick (No. 43 overall)
2020 seventh-round draft pick (No. 223 overall)

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Using those selections will give us a clearer picture of what the trade looks like, even though it’s imprudent to evaluate draft picks until they’ve played a few NFL seasons.

Raiders fans should have some level of confident coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will do the right thing with extra assets considering how well last year’s draft went, the Jacobs pick in particular.

This year’s No. 19 overall draft pick is an important one, likely producing the other headline name in a deal that will be remembered alongside shipping Mack to Chicago and the Jacobs pick.

[RELATED: Mack makes All-Decade Team, largely for work with Raiders]

Our latest NBC Sports Bay Area mock draft has the Raiders taking Alabama safety Xavier McKinney at No. 19, while Gruden and Mayock could be looking for a cornerback or a defensive tackle at that spot. It’s also a trade chip that could get the Raiders into the second round, where they currently don’t have a selection.

The Jacobs pick made fans feel a lot better about the Mack trade, especially with 2019 fourth-round draft pick Maxx Crosby proving a formidable edge rusher with 10 sacks as a rookie. Using their assets correctly might even make the Raiders come out ahead, or darn close to it, with young players on the roster and money Mack would’ve demanded spread out among several other veteran free agents who are good but not at Mack’s elite level.

Khalil Mack, Shane Lechler among ex-Raiders on NFL's All-Decade Team

Khalil Mack, Shane Lechler among ex-Raiders on NFL's All-Decade Team

Khalil Mack was the Raiders best player over the past decade. It’s hard to argue that, even with Charles Woodson making Pro Bowls in his last 30s.

The Silver and Black drafted him No. 5 overall in 2014, and he thrived in the four seasons before being traded to the Chicago Bears. He had 41.5 sacks in that span and was one of the NFL’s elite edge run defenders.

He made the Pro Bowl three times and was a first-team All-Pro twice as a Raider, including one year where he earned the distinction at two positions. He also won the NFL’s defensive player of the year award in 2016, when the Raiders made the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Mack was an obvious choice for the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2010s, which was released by the league on Monday morning.

Mack wasn’t the only former Raider on the list. Punter Shane Lechler was rightfully included, though he played just three years for the Silver and Black in that decade. The Raiders’ first-round pick in 2000 was a fixture in Oakland from that time through 2012, when the native Texan left to play for Houston.

Oakland icon and former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch also made the list, largely for his exploits with the Seattle Seahawks. He was with his hometown Raiders in 2017 and 2018 after coming out of retirement and returned to Seattle last year for their playoff run.

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All-decade kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson spent a year with the Raiders in 2017.

Center Rodney Hudson is the only Raider with a strong argument for inclusion ultimately left out. He’s at least equal to Alex Mack and Maurkice Pouncey, possibly better in some eyes, and may be the NFL’s best pass-blocking center.

[RELATED: Raiders must do better with No. 12 draft pick]

While Woodson was well past his prime in the 2010s, the future Hall-of-Famer made three Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2011. He was featured on the NFL’s All-2000s roster but could well have been included here. Eric Weddle, Eric Berry and Earl Thomas were the safeties named to the all-2010s team, and it’s hard to justify taking any of them off the list.

Here's the complete All-2010s team:  

WR –
 Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones
TE – Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce
T – Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Joe Staley, Joe Thomas
G – Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Zack Martin, Marshal Yanda
C – Alex Mack, Maurkice Pouncey
QB – Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers
RB – Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson
Flex – Darren Sproles

DE –
 Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Julius Peppers, J.J. Watt
DT – Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox, Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh
LB – Chandler Jones, Luke Kuechly, Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Bobby Wagner, Patrick Willis
CB – Patrick Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman
S – Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle
DB – Chris Harris, Tyrann Mathieu

P –
 Johnny Hekker, Shane Lechler
K – Stephen Gostkowski, Justin Tucker
PR – Tyreek Hill, Darren Sproles
KR – Devin Hester, Cordarrelle Patterson

Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.