Derek Carr was 'annoyed' by speculation Raiders would draft quarterback

Derek Carr was 'annoyed' by speculation Raiders would draft quarterback

ALAMEDA -- Top athletes rarely admit to hearing outside chatter, especially when they’re the subject of hot takes screamed on nationally televised morning shows and drive time talk radio.

Questions about it are normally met with a shrug and those statement hot takes weren’t heard despite an unspoken understanding that they were.

Derek Carr didn’t take that tact. The veteran quarterback was forthright about the fact he rolled eyes at nonstop national speculation the Raiders would take a quarterback high in the NFL draft. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock said time and again that Carr was their quarterback, and that all the private workouts and fancy dinners with Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins were merely due diligence.

Actions spoke louder to some who continually insisted the Raiders were going quarterback early. The topic never died nationally, and it wore thin in the Carr household.

“Honestly, it got annoying after a while,” Carr said. “I’m like, ‘they literally don’t have anything else to talk about?’ I certainly didn’t help the situation, trying to challenge people to fights.”

That came during the Senior Bowl, when the Raiders coached Drew Lock and other passing prospects, prompting some Carr criticism from the reactionary ESPN show “First Take.” Carr fired back with offers to get in the ring with their hosts, exactly the attention shows like that want.

Carr quieted down after that. He has laid extremely low, save a few chats on his YouTube channel and hype video appearances with Antonio Brown. He met the press after Tuesday’s OTA practice session and was clear he was in the loop during the pre-draft process.

“To be honest with you, the owner, GM, head coach and the quarterback … I don’t know about other places, but, here, we’re all on the same page,” Carr said. “I talk to all three of those guys all the time. They tell me good, bad and ugly all the time, because that’s what our team needs. That’s what good organizations do.”

That open line of communication gave Carr assurances he wouldn’t be challenged by a top quarterback prospect.

“I met with all of them and talked with all of them and, when I was watching into the draft, there was negative 47-percent chance they were going to draft somebody, in my mind,” Carr said. “Hopefully those guys didn’t have their hopes up, but it wasn’t going to happen. They pretty much said that every time it came up, if it even came up. We’re not just playing for this year. I’m honestly going to be here a long time. Hopefully that’s okay with you guys. You have to get used to me.”

The pressure, it seems, will never leave. The expectations for Carr will be sky high after the Raiders got him some help up front and at the skill positions with Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs.

[RELATED: Gruden not worried about relationships despite AB's absence]

This is widely viewed as a prove-it season for Carr, and his performance will establish whether the Raiders will bring him to Las Vegas following next year’s move from the Bay Area. That narrative will pick up steam next offseason, especially if Gruden and Mayock embark on another quarterback prospect tour.

“No doubt, right? Here we go again,” Carr said. “Let’s just get through this year first and then we’ll play that game again. I’ll probably have some more fun with it. I’m not going anywhere. This is my team and it will be for the next, however long time I’m here.”

Raiders' Derek Carr just trolling with Khalil Mack post, David Carr says

Raiders' Derek Carr just trolling with Khalil Mack post, David Carr says

It's been another offseason of rumors for Derek Carr.

Despite a solid 2019 campaign in Year 2 under Jon Gruden, whispers of the Raiders' interest in other quarterbacks, notably Tom Brady, have been circulating since the season ended. There also have been rumors the Silver and Black could look to trade Carr this offseason. Carr sent shockwaves of his own across social media earlier this week when he posted a photo of himself and former teammate Khalil Mack on Instagram, sparking speculation he could be headed to the Chicago Bears.

But, according to Carr's brother David, he was just having a little fun with the offseason rumor mill.

“His son’s favorite movie is Trolls. He’s just having fun. It’s the offseason,” David Carr said on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access."

While Derek Carr is used to questions about his job security being a topic of conversation, it appears the veteran quarterback is enjoying stoking the trade flames himself for once. 

But he might also be sending a message to the Raiders that other teams would love for him to be their starting quarterback if they don't.

The Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and others have been mentioned as possible landing spots for Derek Carr if he is traded. 

As for the Raiders' offseason plans at quarterback, it feels like the smart money is on Carr entering the season as the starter. While the Brady rumors have taken up all the oxygen, it feels like a stretch to suggest that the six-time Super Bowl champion would leave the New England Patriots at this point in his career. Of course, if Brady wants to wear silver and black, the Raiders have to make that happen.

[RELATED: Why Raiders should target Sanders to revamp receiving corps]

It seems likely Carr will take the first snap for the Raiders in Las Vegas with a free-agent acquisition occupying the backup role and looking to take over should Carr not take the next step head coach Jon Gruden wants to see.

If more rumors continue to pop up, don't be surprised to see Carr take to social media with another cryptic post.

Jon Gruden announces Raiders' minicamp will be in Las Vegas, not Alameda

Jon Gruden announces Raiders' minicamp will be in Las Vegas, not Alameda

The Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas is ramping up.

Head coach Jon Gruden announced Saturday before Tyson Fury's win over Deontay Wilder in a heavyweight fight that the Silver and Black would host their mandatory minicamp at their new home in Sin City.

“If we can let everyone in, we will,” Gruden said on the big screen at the fight, via The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

It is unclear whether or not the Raiders will hold the event in Las Vegas or at the team's facility in Henderson, Nev., although the latter seems more likely.

The Raiders are expected to host their training camp in Napa next summer before shifting football operations to Nevada full time.

[RELATED: Why Raiders should sign Sanders to revamp receiving corps]

Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock face another important offseason as they look to continue the upward trajectory from last season.

The Raiders started Phase 1 of Gruden's rebuild last offseason. They had a historically successful draft class led by running back Josh Jacobs, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and defensive end Maxx Crosby

It will be imperative for Gruden and Mayock to hit on their draft picks again. The Raiders have the No. 12 and No. 19 picks in the first round. With a deep class of young wide receivers, the Silver and Black could greatly improve their offense if they call the right names in April when the draft will be held in April. 

With over $50 million in salary cap room, the Raiders also must navigate free agency successfully. There are a number of players they could pursue, including Tom Brady, but they must hit on their free-agent signings in order to make another leap up the AFC West ladder.