Raiders

Raiders

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has occupied the same end-of-the row locker since becoming a Raider nearly five years ago. He did a quick count recently, and believes 27 different guys have used the stall next to him.

That isn’t official, but it proves a greater point.

The Raiders have undergone insane turnover in recent seasons.

“It’s crazy, man,” Carr said. “My brother (David Carr) warned me about stuff like this because he played for 12 years. I was like, ‘No, way man.’ When you get here it’s just rainbows and butterflies because you made it to the NFL. All of sudden you get new friends every year.”

That’s true every year, where fringe players and occasional free agents rotate out.

The last calendar year has been different. It has been extreme.

More than two-thirds of the roster is new, but the loss of star power has been more jarring than sheer numbers.

Jack Del Rio was fired and replaced by Jon Gruden last January. Khalil Mack was traded in September. Amari Cooper was traded in October. Bruce Irvin got cut in November. And Reggie McKenzie got fired on the second Monday in December.

Carr has dealt with a lot this season, and losing McKenzie struck a powerful blow.

[RELATED: Derek Carr: 'Seems weird' Raiders might play only one more game in Oakland]

“He drafted me and gave me my chance,” Carr said. “I had a good conversation with him after I found out the news. I sent him a long text and he sent me a long one back. It was special, man. Our relationship was special, and it always will be. You never saw anything that would make you think this would happen, but it is what it is. You wake up and you see it and are like, ‘Oh, man!’

 

“It’s a part of this and we are moving forward. He is someone I will always keep in contact with and in my message, I said, ‘Any success that I have, I hope you feel a part of it.”

Carr has been the one constant in the second Raiders rebuild since the quarterback was drafted in 2014. Gruden has torn the team down, and plans to build it back up with cap space and three first-round draft picks. Carr has learned how to weather all this change while keeping focus on the field.

“There has been a lot of turnover,” Carr said. “Not only in the last five years, but in the last 12 months. There has been a lot of turnover. A lot of different things; systems, players, obviously the GM, coaches. It just teaches you that you can’t control anything outside of what you can control. The best thing that you can do is show up every day and give it everything that you have because anything outside of that is out of your control.”