The Oakland Raiders have enjoyed very little success in Jon Gruden’s first season back with the team, and his frustration with his quarterback has been evident on numerous occasions. That was the case again on Sunday.
On a 3rd down play late in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr chose to throw a low percentage deep ball to running back Jalen Richard, who was double-covered down the sideline. Gruden clearly did not like the decision, and he appeared to light into Carr over it.
— TAJI. (@InfiniteRaiders) November 18, 2018
Carr is having one of his worst seasons as a pro this year, and that has been surprising to some considering Gruden fancies himself a quarterback whisperer. While the coach should be blamed for some of the struggles Oakland’s offense has had, Carr has made some truly horrific decisions in key situations. Gruden is probably getting tired of that with his team now 1-8.
If you like NFL upsets, you probably enjoyed Week 10. Some big names went down, often in surprising fashion, and some lesser teams lost in ways that are going to put their coaches firmly on the hottest of hot seats. One team also suffered a potentially serious injury that could have major implications in the postseason.
Who disappointed in Week 10? Here’s a look at 15 teams, players, and situations.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
The Raiders’ offense remained weak on Sunday, with most of their yardage coming in garbage time. Carr threw for 243 yards, but failed to find the end zone and did nothing terribly positive of note. One play in the fourth quarter may serve as the perfect microcosm of Oakland’s 2018 season. On 4th and 5, Carr seemed to lose track of the game situation and threw the ball away, not realizing that doing so would cause a turnover on downs. That’s the Raiders in a nutshell.
A bad season got even worse for Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and the quarterback may have committed his most embarrassing mental mistake of the season.
The Raiders had the ball deep in Los Angeles Chargers’ territory late in the fourth quarter, and they decided to go for it on fourth down since they were trailing 20-6. Carr was either completely unaware of the situation or simply panicked, but he decided to intentionally throw the ball into the ground when the pass rush was closing in on him.
Down 14 in the 4th quarter Derek Carr intentionally threw it into the ground….ON 4TH AND 5 pic.twitter.com/9iF95RMnG4
— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) November 11, 2018
That one play can be considered a microcosm for the Raiders’ entire season. While it was unlikely that the Raiders were going to convert with the way the play was setting up, Carr would have been better off throwing a Hail Mary downfield than just tossing the ball away.
There has been a lot of talk about Gruden potentially wanting to part ways with Carr after the season, and plays like that aren’t helping the quarterback prove his worth. We have also heard rumblings of Carr’s teammates not being happy with him, so things could continue to get uglier in Oakland.
- Derek Carr
Deion Sanders is on the payroll with NFL Network, and the Oakland Raiders were so bad on Thursday night that even he didn’t want to watch the product his employer was putting out.
As the Raiders were sleepwalking through a humiliating loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Sanders took to social media to criticize their lackluster performance. From what the Hall of Famer sees, he believes it is only a matter of time before head coach Jon Gruden parts ways with Derek Carr.
I’m sitting here watching this @Raiders game vs @49ers and I’ve come to the conclusion that’s it’s a matter of time before Gruden gets rid of @derekcarrqb . He can play but he’s not a Gruden guy. Stay tuned and let’s see how this plays out. #Truth @nflnetwork #GamedayPrime
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) November 2, 2018
Carr looked skittish on many of his pass attempts against San Francisco, but it’s hard to blame him with how horrendous Oakland’s offensive line played. He was sacked a whopping seven times, and there were some plays where Niners defenders were in the backfield the second the ball was snapped.
Defense was just as big of an issue for the Raiders as offense, and Sanders said on his Instagram story at one point that Gruden’s team has become unwatchable.
“I’m sorry, I can’t take this no more. Please, can somebody get these Raiders off my TV?” Sanders said. “That right there (pointing to TV) — garbage.”
There have been reports that the Raiders want to build around Carr and have assured him that his future with the team is safe, but Gruden has already criticized the QB publicly this season. With three first-round picks in next year’s draft, it’s going to be hard for Gruden to resist starting fresh at a position he considers himself a specialist with.
The Oakland Raiders are in rebuilding mode, but they may not be closing the book on the Derek Carr era.
The Raiders held onto Carr through the trade deadline even though they discussed trading away several other players. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says that’s because the Raiders would like to build around Carr.
Here’s what Rapoport said on Thursday before the Raiders-49ers game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2018
Rapoport says the Raiders “did not come close to trading” Carr before the trade deadline. He says that Carr and new Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “have actually become closer” during the season, even though Gruden has called out Carr. Rapoport says the relationship between the men “has actually improved” this year.
There was some speculation that the Raiders could cut Carr after the season and move on, using one of their multiple first-round picks on a quarterback. Instead, all signs seem to point to him remaining the quarterback of the future for the Raiders.
- Derek Carr
The Oakland Raiders have already traded two of their best players this season, but Derek Carr is not expected to be moved ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders have assured Derek Carr that he will remain their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. In addition to not exploring trade options for him, the team expects Carr to remain its starting quarterback for the remainder of 2018 and in 2019. The Raiders have reportedly “gone out of their way” to reassure the man they invested $125 million in last summer.
Head coach Jon Gruden has already lost the benefit of the doubt with some fans, as he indicated he would not trade pass-rusher Khalil Mack and star receiver Amari Cooper, but both are playing for new teams. However, Gruden did say recently that he does not expect to make any more significant moves, including trading Carr.
Carr’s salary cap hit for 2019 is scheduled to be $22.5 million, but the Raiders could save $15 million if they decided to part ways with him this offseason. They also have three first-round picks in the 2019 draft, so Gruden will have a great opportunity to draft a top quarterback.
The Oakland Raiders have already traded away two of their core players in the nine short months that Jon Gruden has been with the team, and some believe Derek Carr could be the next to go. Assuming the head coach is telling the truth, that is not going to happen this season.
On Wednesday, Gruden told reporters that he does not anticipate making any more trades prior to the Oct. 30 deadline. He said that is “certainly” the case with Carr.
Jon Gruden: “I don’t see us making any more trades. Certainly, I don’t see us trading our quarterback.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 24, 2018
And Gruden says he is not just saying that publicly, as the Raiders have also assured Carr in private that he is not going anywhere.
Derek Carr speaks regularly with Raiders brass, including Jon Gruden. And re: speculation of him possibly being traded, he’s been assured “that’s not something we even talk about.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 24, 2018
Carr’s salary cap hit for 2019 is scheduled to be $22.5 million, but the Raiders could save $15 million if they decided to part ways with him this offseason. It seems unlikely that the franchise will give up on Carr after he signed a five-year, $125 million extension last summer, but Gruden now has three first-round picks in 2019 after trading away Khail Mack and Amari Cooper. If the coach wants to draft a QB, he’ll be in a great position to do that.
While you might be inclined to think Gruden is lying about not intending to trade Carr, keep in mind it sounds like one of the star players he dealt wanted out. That does not appear to be the case with Carr.