GM Mike Mayock considers QB Derek Carr the least of Raiders problems


GM Mike Mayock considers QB Derek Carr the least of Raiders problems

MOBILE, Ala. -- Mike Mayock knows that a team doesn’t go 4-12 without a lot of problems. The Raiders had plenty while assembling that record last season, before Mayock joined the organization as general manager.

There are talent deficiencies all over the depth chart. He doesn’t think starting quarterback is one of them.

Mayock understands finding a steady signal caller is difficult in the modern NFL, and the Raiders already have one.

“When you look at 32 teams in this league and there aren’t 32 starting quarterbacks, yet we have one of them,” Mayock said Thursday at the Senior Bowl, during a sit down with Raiders beat writers. “(Derek) is a starting quarterback in the NFL. He can make every throw. We have to do a better job of protecting him and giving him weapons. He played with rookie tackles last year. We need to get more speed on offense, we need to be more dynamic.

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“Derek Carr, at this point, is kind of the least of our problems.”

Carr produced career-highs in completion percentage and passing yards last year, his first working with head coach/offensive mastermind Jon Gruden despite offensive issues all around him.

He was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2016, before breaking his fibula during that regular season’s penultimate game. He has struggled to regain that form during down years for the Raiders organization, but eventually found comfort working within Gruden’s scheme and started to thrive.

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Carr is under contract through 2022, though the dead money associated with his release stands at $7.5 million and decreases by $2.5 million each year thereafter until it strikes zero.

Gruden has praised Carr’s effort at every turn, and has said he wants to improve the offense around him. Mayock believes rookie offensive tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker will improve. Expect a positional overhaul at receiver and possibly receiving tight end if Jared Cook isn’t re-signed.

The Raiders must address pressing issues on both sides of the football. That’s what Mayock is focused on during his first offseason with the Raiders.

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

Source: Curtis Riley agrees to contract with Raiders to help secondary

The Raiders continued fleshing out their secondary on Friday agreeing on terms of a contract with safety Curtis Riley, a source said. The former New York Giant visited the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday and left without a deal, but he ended up taking the Raiders offer despite interest from other teams.

Riley hinted at a pact on Twitter, saying he was coming to the Bay Area. He’ll exchange coasts after starting all 16 games at free safety with last year’s Giants. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups for that squad.

He’ll have an opportunity to play significant snaps in the Raiders secondary. High-priced free-agent signing Lamarcus Joyner is also a free safety but is expected to play slot cornerback regularly in 2019, likely shuttling back and forth between positions.

Riley could step in as the free safety in sub packages that defenses spend significant time in nowadays. Erik Harris will compete for that role opposite strong safety Karl Joseph.

The Raiders have options in the secondary now, with the aforementioned safeties and depth at cornerback. Gareon Conley’s a virtual lock to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s expected to return on a second-round free-agent tender, through Thursday’s signing Nevin Lawson will compete for time there as well. Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson will have to fight for time with this new defensive back depth chart.

The Raiders could well draft another defensive back as well, especially if a good one slips and becomes a great value pick.

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News of Riley’s agreement should excite quarterback Derek Carr. Riley’s a fellow Fresno State alum and was teammates with Carr in 2013.

The Raiders also had interest in George Iloka, who played with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. Iloka visited the Raiders complex Thursday but left without a deal and scheduled other visits. 

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

How Jordan Devey signing gives Raiders versatile offensive line depth

The Raiders hope Rodney Hudson plays every single offensive snap in 2019. He might be the league’s best center, and is the unquestioned leader along the offensive front.

They need a Plan B, even if they never hope to use it. Jon Feliciano was the primary reserve at guard and center, leaving a void upon signing with the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Devey will fill it. The former Kansas City Chief signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Thursday, the team announced, adding depth and versatility to an overhauled front.

Devey spent parts of five NFL seasons with New England, the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, primarily as a reserve guard. He played more center over the past two seasons, and has some tackle work on his resume. Devey finished last season on injured reserve with a pectoral issue

Offensive line coach Tom Cable prizes versatility, especially with a need on the inside. Second-year pro Brandon Parker is expected to be a swing tackle.

Kolton Miller and Trent Brown will be starting tackles, with Hudson at center. Gabe Jackson and Denzelle Good look like starting guards at this time.

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Devey was clean cut Thursday when signing with the Raiders, but he rocked a pretty serious mullet last season in Kansas City.