Derek Carr's status unchanged with Raiders keeping eye on QB prospects

Derek Carr's status unchanged with Raiders keeping eye on QB prospects

PHOENIX – General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have been consistent in praising quarterback Derek Carr this offseason, which has largely been ignored by those viewing the Raiders from a distance.

Compliments aimed at Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock throughout the pre-NFL draft process have been heard loud and clear, fueling speculation the Raiders will take a quarterback early in the draft to either push Carr or succeed him under center.

Gruden and Mayock haven’t tried to silence the screams. It’s a futile effort, anyway.

Here are the facts: Carr is fully expected to start in 2019…and…it’s certainly possible the Raiders will take a quarterback early in the draft. Calling it probable or expected, however, might be a stretch.

The Raiders have great faith in Carr. Getting a close look at top passing prospects doesn’t change that. Nor will it prevent the Raiders from gaining a firm grasp on this year’s quarterback class.

They worked with Lock, Daniel Jones and Ryan Finley at the Senior Bowl and like all three. They visited Murray and Haskins at their pro days and will conduct private workouts with both top-10 prospects. Those guys can sling it, too.

It’s all part of the Raiders’ evaluation process leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Information is gold, and it always will be,” Mayock said Monday at the NFL owners meeting. “We all know that Jon Gruden is a quarterback guy. Jon’s going to evaluate every quarterback out there every single year. That’s just who he is.”

The Raiders want to see Carr thrive in his second year under Gruden. After adding dynamic offensive pieces in free agency, he’ll get that chance in 2019.

“He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said in a Monday "NFL Network" interview. “I’m not going to address all of the rumors. I could care less about the rumors. He threw for 4,100 yards, threw for almost 70 percent (completions) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I have a lot of confidence in Carr, what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line, with a better defense. Yeah, I’m excited about Carr.”

Mayock is, too, but it’s his job to explore possible upgrades across the roster and to know everything about every prospect. Quarterback will be a tough one to improve.

“Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback. I do believe that,” Mayock said. “We had Drew Lock at the Senior Bowl. He’s a potential first-round pick and we got to work with him for a week. We did our due diligence. We’re going to see Kyler Murray and we’re going to see Haskins (in private workouts). We believe they’re high-level quarterbacks, and that’s due diligence. You’d better know how good these guys are. You’d better know what other teams are interested in, and whether or not you can improve your own position. That’s part of what a head coach and GM do, to evaluate every position on your football team. You owe it to your team to do the best job you can and upgrade where you can.

“But, and I said this back at the NFL combine: I don’t think there are very many people who are better than Derek Carr.”

[RELATED: Raiders can benefit from chip on Antonio Brown's shoulder]

Even if the Raiders don’t choose a quarterback at all in this draft, hard evaluation work was not wasted.

“I think it pays tangential results down the road,” Mayock said. “We’ve watched every throw these guys have made. We know their strengths and weaknesses. If we see them in the division or the conference, we feel like we’ll have a leg up in the game-planning process going against that kid. All of it plays into the due diligence process down the road.”

Raiders inactives: Trent Brown, Zay Jones unavailable vs. Packers


Raiders inactives: Trent Brown, Zay Jones unavailable vs. Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Raiders' offensive line just can’t get right. They finally got Gabe Jackson back after the guard missed the first five games, only to lose star right tackle Trent Brown for Sunday’s Week 7 game against the Packers.

Brown suffered a calf strain during Monday’s practice, the first workout after the bye week.

Brown was unavailable Wednesday and Thursday. He was limited Friday, but he didn’t look ready to play at that point. The days after that didn’t help enough to make him active here at Lambeau Field.

David Sharpe will start in his place. Brandon Parker will be the swing tackle. That could spell trouble against Packers edge rushers Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith.

That’s not the only significant blow the Raiders must absorb. They didn’t deem new receiver Zay Jones ready to go after roughly two weeks prep in the Raiders' offense.

The Raiders acquired Jones from the Buffalo Bills in an Oct. 7 trade and gave him a crash course in their scheme, but he wasn’t prepped enough to handle the snap count required of an active receiver.

The Silver and Black are weak at that spot, going with Trevor Davis, Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman and Hunter Renfrow. Dwayne Harris will miss his fourth straight game while dealing with an ankle injury.

[RELATED: Report: AB's $30 million grievance vs. Raiders hits snag]

All told, the Raiders have Brown, Jones, Tyrell Williams, edge rusher Arden Key, cornerback Keiseasn Nixon and quarterback DeShone Kizer inactive for this game.

Meanwhile, the Packers will get two of their receivers back, as both Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be active.

NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's $30 million grievance vs. Raiders hits snag


NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's $30 million grievance vs. Raiders hits snag

Antonio Brown is looking to get paid without ever suiting up for the Raiders, but it looks like his case has hit a snag. 

The troubled receiver filed multiple grievances against the Raiders in an attempt to recoup the $30 million in guaranteed money he lost when Oakland released him prior to the beginning of the season.

However, it appears Raiders owner Mark Davis kept the receipts. The Raiders submitted text messages Brown sent to Davis that show Brown requesting his release from the Raiders, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday.

Tough look for AB.

Brown's short tenure with the Raiders was littered with insanity.

He arrived at training camp in Napa via hot air balloon. But the four-time All-Pro immediately was ruled out with a foot ailment that turned out to be frostbite from a cryochamber. Even once his feet healed, Brown rarely saw the field as he sat out due to multiple grievances with the NFL over the league's new helmet policy requiring him to wear a helmet that actually would protect his brain from the trauma inflicted on it while on the field.

After missing walkthroughs and practices due to his helmet issue, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock issued several fines to Brown, causing the receiver to confront Mayock at practice in a heated altercation that reportedly saw Brown call Mayock a "cracker" and threaten to punch him.

Days later, Brown took to Instagram after another fine that voided the guaranteed money in his contract.

[RELATED: Rumors: AB wants to return after NFL investigation]

The Raiders capitulated and Brown signed on with the Patriots and played one game for New England before being released amidst sexual assault allegations. Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a federal civil lawsuit against Brown accusing the receiver of sexually assaulting her on three different occasions. An anonymous woman then told Sports Illustrated that Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her, to which the receiver responded by sending her menacing and threatening text messages.

The Patriots released Brown the next day.

Brown filed multiple grievances against both the Raiders and Patriots in an attempt to receive all the money he believes he is owed. But it appears he won't be getting that $30 million from the Silver and Black.