Derek Carr’s future with the Raiders is being discussed nonstop, an offseason tradition now three years running.
That didn’t happen during the quarterback’s rise to prominence, especially after a 2016 campaign where the Raiders made the playoffs and Carr was a legitimate MVP contender.
Jon Gruden’s return as head coach brought that about, even in relatively early stages of a contract extension that runs through 2022. It grew particularly loud before last year’s NFL draft and is increasing volume again this month with reported links to a Tom Brady pursuit in free agency.
Legendary former Raiders receiver Tim Brown considers all that just talk. He believes Derek Carr will remain a Raider in 2020, when the team formally relocates to Las Vegas.
“I don’t think they’re going to make a move this year,” Brown said last week during an interview on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Radio Row. “I don’t foresee them doing that but, at the same time, it’s always good as an athlete to know, ‘I really need to go out and do well.’”
Brown believes the Raiders should continue building around Carr, giving him the best chance to thrive in his third season under Gruden. It isn’t an unprecedented third NFL season with the same play-caller. It’s some help on the outside the Raiders though Antonio Brown would provide.
“Derek has never had a true No. 1 receiver,” Brown said. “Amari Cooper was there but there were some issues during that time, even though they had some good years together. I think people felt like he was not a top, top guy. And then the whole AB situation happened this year.”
Antonio Brown’s release left the Raiders receiver corps in tatters, with a talent-deficient crew in near-constant flux. Brown believes the Raiders should fortify the receiver corps this offseason, which should be possible with some establish veterans headed for free agency and a loaded position group entering the NFL draft.
“I would love to see Derek with a true No. 1, a guy who, on 3rd-and-6, everybody knows where the ball is going,” Brown said. From there, you’ll know. If Derek has a [subpar] year like he has had or the team is not in the playoffs, maybe you think about a move. But I think you’ll see a big difference in Derek in that situation, with the top receiver on the team.”