New Raiders general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday made it clear he likes Derek Carr, the franchise quarterback he inherited when he was hired away from NFL Network on New Year’s Eve.
But he wouldn’t commit to Carr with absolute certainty going forward.
“I think Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback. I truly believe that,” Mayock said at the NFL scouting combine. “Now, do I also believe it’s a general manager’s and head coach’s job to keep your eyes open to improve any position on the football team? Sure. But I think it’s really difficult to try to improve over a franchise quarterback like the one we have in our building.”
Mayock was peppered with questions about how the first-time executive will handle his quarterback situation while Oakland prepares for the upcoming draft with three first-round picks, including No. 4 overall, which might be used on the game’s most important position if Mayock and coach Jon Gruden fall in love with a signal caller over the next two months.
After all, the team over the past year traded away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper to the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys, respectively. Carr is expected to make over $86 million over the next four seasons after signing a five-year, $125 million contract in June 2017.
The Raiders finished 4-12 last season while undertaking the first year of a team-wide reconstruction project. Yet despite a roster devoid of weapons, particularly after trading away Cooper midway through the campaign, Carr had arguably his most efficient season.
The three-time Pro-Bowler set a career-high by averaging 7.3 yards per attempt and completed 68.9 percent of his passes. His previous career best was 63.8 percent when he was a fringe MVP candidate in 2016.
“We’ve got a young quarterback who we think is a franchise quarterback who’s going to be 28 years old in March,” Mayock said. “So we’re pretty happy with where we are, especially with our backup quarterback who we signed last year in AJ McCarron. We feel like we’re pretty good at the quarterback position.”