Raiders Starting Marcus Mariota, Benching Derek Carr?
The Las Vegas Raiders are considering the possibility of starting Marcus Mariota and benching Derek Carr.
This should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Head coach Jon Gruden and team owner Mark Davis have spent the better part of the last year signaling their lack of faith in Carr.
It was pretty apparent when the organization unapologetically chased a 43-year-old Tom Brady around, before he ultimately signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And it became crystal clear when Davis inked Mariota, a former Tennessee Titans starter-turned-reserve, to a two-year, $17.6 million agreement. The deal made him one of the highest paid backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
You do not pay that sort of money if you are confident in your current starting quarterback.
Raiders Are Very Happy So Far
This week, Gruden was asked how Mariota was looking on the practice field – and the head coach was effusive with his praise.
“He’s interesting,” Gruden replied.
“He took off a couple times today and it really fired me up. He’s been hurt, but looks like the ankle really turned a corner. He’s a dazzling playmaker with his feet, and that’s the key to his game.
“I saw glimpses of that today. It’s exciting. Started off slow on 7-on-7 [drills], but [he] picked it up, had a nice day. Had a real nice day.”
“How do you think Derek Carr reacted to this, this morning? Mr. Sensitive himself. I mean, if he read this, oh my gosh.”@mlombardiNFL and @TheWrapRadio examine Jon Gruden’s recent comments about Marcus Mariota and what kind of impact they may have on Derek Carr.#LombardiLine pic.twitter.com/5kHYegGaqG
— VSiN (@VSiNLive) August 15, 2020
Carr was on thin ice to close out last season. His status is no better this year.
If he gives Gruden any opportunity to bench him and replace him with Mariota, then that is precisely what will end up happening.
A quarterback change will occur at some point in 2020. It is a matter of when, not if.