2021 raiders preview
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FSM Presents: 2021 Raiders Position Preview- Quarterbacks

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With the start of the Las Vegas Raiders 2021 training camp getting underway on June 26th, it’s officially time to take a look at the Raiders potential positional groups and analyze them. There is no better place to start than at the quarterback position.

 

The Raiders Realist
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The Raiders will have the same trio is back from last season in the quarterback room. Derek Carr returns as the Raiders starting quarterback for the 8th season and looks to build off a very good 2020 season.

Carr finished the 2020 season with 4,103 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions, finishing the 2020 season as the 8th rated quarterback by PFF (Pro Football Focus). Not only did Carr have the most passing yards of his career, but he also finished the season with a passer rating of 101.4. He also set career-highs in yards per attempt (7.9) and adjusted yards per attempt (8.2).

Considering all of the injuries at wide receiver and on the offensive line that Carr had to deal with in 2020, this was an impressive season by him. While the team could improve in their red zone offense and be more consistent from game to game, Carr has proven that he is a franchise quarterback. Carr has solidified the Raiders quarterback position since Rich Gannon was lining up behind center for Oakland. He had shouldered the blame from Raider Nation, even when it was unfair or simply not true, and done so with class and professionalism. He has been everything the Raiders had hoped for and more when they drafted him out of Fresno State with the 36th overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

 

Raiders vs Jets
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Carr holds multiple career franchise records for the Raiders. So far, he holds the record for touchdown passes (170), pass completions (2,468), pass attempts (3,830), pass completion percentage (64.4%), passing yards (26,896), lowest interception percentage (1.9%), most fourth-quarter comebacks (21), and most game-winning drives (24).

Carr also owns the franchise single-season records for pass completion percentage: 70.4% (2019), fewest interceptions thrown (minimum 8 starts): 6 (2016), lowest interception percentage: 1.1% (2016), most fourth-quarter comebacks: 7 (2016), and most game-winning drives: 7 (2016).

If the Raiders can continue adding and improving at the wide receiver and tight end positions, there isn’t anything preventing Carr from moving up the PFF list in 2021 and silencing all his critics. It’s pretty clear that he’s a great fit in Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s offense, and the longer these two are together, the better it is for the direction of the franchise.

During minicamp earlier this offseason, Carr reiterated his commitment to the team that drafted him and his desire to accomplish more as their quarterback.

My goal when I got here was to give everything I have to this organization, let our fans know that I’m giving it all that I have, and I will always continue to do that on-season, offseason, and whether the situation is great or not, that’s okay,” Derek Carr said.

People can say whatever they want. I know what I’ve put on film. I know the things I’ve been able to accomplish, and I still want more. There’s still more, and I want to do it here. I don’t want to do it anywhere else.”

I spoke to sources in the Raiders organization who confirmed that the team has spoken to Carr’s representatives about a contract extension. They said that talks are in the early stages, and nothing is imminent.

 

If Carr were to go down with an injury the Raiders are supremely confident in former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.

 

2021 Raiders Preview
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mariota made his first appearance in Silver and Black in the first quarter of a Week 15 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers after starter Carr left the game with a groin injury. Mariota finished the 30-27 overtime loss with 226 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception, along with 88 rushing yards and a touchdown. While that was the only appearance for Mariota, he showed enough to give the Raiders and Raider Nation belief that they have another option should Carr go down, whether it is short or long-term.

Mariota signed a reworked one-year deal to remain in Las Vegas. The one-year, $3.5 million but could be worth up to $8 million with incentives, and the deal also includes a no-trade clause. Mariota had signed a two-year deal with the Raiders worth $17.6 million in March 2020. Still, with the NFL salary cap dropping, and considering Mariota has never played a full season since the Titans drafted him in 2015, he decided that remaining with the Raiders and being in a familiar situation was more important.

Nathan Peterman looks to be the third-string quarterback once again. Peterman will most likely be on the practice squad since the Raiders will carry only Carr and Mariota on the roster. Peterman made his first and only appearance for the Raiders in 2020 during the 4th quarter in a Week 12 blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons in relief of Carr. Peterman completed 3 of 5 passes for 25 yards and rushed for 9 yards as the Raiders lost 43–6.

 

Derek Carr is the franchise quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders. So despite what some in Raider Nation feel, and they certainly have their valid criticisms, they need to accept that Carr is the Raiders quarterback now and likely for the future.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

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