Now that the Oakland Raiders are in negotiations to play the 2019 season at Oracle Park, the home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants, an eye can be put on the 2020 season when the franchise moves to Las Vegas.
Bringing back Jon Gruden as head coach was a move with buzz in mind, and after trades that sent Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper out during the 2018 season an eye on being a playoff contender upon arriving in Vegas seems to be a priority.
The Raiders don’t have a huge quarterback question right now, with Derek Carr in place. He is coming off a season where he set career-highs in completion percentage (68.9 percent) and yards per attempt (7.3), so a change is not necessarily coming for the 2019 season.
But come 2020, there are signs Carr will not be the Raiders quarterback when they start playing in Las Vegas.
Carr is in the midst of a five-year, $125 million contract that briefly put him atop the financial heap among quarterbacks. Technically the Raiders have a palatable out this offseason, with just $7.5 million in cap charge (dead money) if they were to cut him early in the new league year (by March 15, when his $19.9 million salary becomes guaranteed, via Spotrac. That’s unlikely to happen, but it’s remotely possible Carr is traded.
Also via Spotrac, $2.9 million of Carr’s scheduled $18.9 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year. The dead cap hit drops to $5 million as well, and it’s quite possible Oakland can find a team interested in trading for Carr.
Gruden has not hidden his affection for Kyler Murray, and if he chooses football the Raiders may try to use one of their three first-round picks on him in April. The 2020 draft class also has Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert as current top options, so bringing in Carr’s successor would be on the table then.
So who do you think the Raiders’ quarterback will be when they take the field in Vegas? Nothing can be ruled out, but in the next year, one way or another, the odds seem sure to shift away from Carr being the guy