Raiders Reporter: Derek Carr Will Remain In Oakland

Matt Kawahara explained why Carr will be the Raiders' starting quarterback in 2019

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 11, 2019 - 8:55 am
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders Kansas City Chiefs NFL

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The Oakland Raiders have agreed to trade third- and fifth-round picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Antonio Brown, one of the most talented – yet polarizing – receivers in the NFL. There are plenty of angles from which to analyze the move, including one pretty significant element: Who will be Brown’s quarterback?

Indeed, the Raiders were (are?) reportedly shopping Derek Carr, but San Francisco Chronicle Raiders reporter Matt Kawahara believes the soon-to-be 28-year-old will remain in Oakland.

“My inclination is that (the reports are) not true,” Kawahara said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “His salary – $19.9 million for this season – has already kicked in. So they’re paying him for 2019 regardless of what happens. You can look at the record last year, a lot of the blame was placed on his shoulders for the 4-12 record. He actually set career-highs in completion percentage and passing yards – even though he didn’t have much of a supporting cast around him at all.”

Indeed, Carr completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 4,040 yards. His 19 touchdowns left much to be desired, but his top pass-catchers were Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson and Jalen Richard, and only one – Cook – finished with more than 750 yards.

“Objectively when you look at it, I think it’s hard to judge Carr solely on last season,” Kawahara said. “His protection was awful, he was sacked 51 times, halfway through the season he lost Cooper, he lost Brandon LaFell, Martavis Bryant wasn’t much of a factor – so he didn’t have much of a receiver corps either. So that’s actually another aspect of adding Brown. He’s got this No. 1 go-to playmaking receiver. Now it’s up to him to make the most of it and show that he can use that kind of a weapon. Otherwise, the ground may be a little shaky under him going forward after this year.”

Still, the question must be asked: why will Brown work in Oakland when Amari Cooper didn’t? Cooper had just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in six games with the Raiders last season.

Kawahara doesn’t know exactly why the Carr/Cooper dynamic never developed, but he expects better results with AB.

“When you bring in Brown, you’re looking at a guy who’s got the proven track record,” he said. “You would assume he’s going to be motivated coming off the way things ended in Pittsburgh, and Jon Gruden is going to be scheming to get this guy the ball probably 150, 170 times – targeting, anyway – just because of the receivers that they don’t have around him. He’s going to be a big piece of this passing game."