The starting quarterback carousel is spinning this offseason at a rate not seen in years, but don't expect the Las Vegas Raiders to hop on.
If general manager Mike Mayock's comments to media members on Wednesday are any indication, Las Vegas doesn't intend to send its starting QB packing via trade, not after a career-best campaign.
"I think Derek Carr has earned a lot of respect around this league from an awful lot of people," Mayock told reporters. "I think Derek Carr had his best year yet, under Jon Gruden. I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and we couldn't be happier with him. ...
"If you're asking me about Derek, I think Jon and I would both stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."
Carr's name has cropped in trade rumors annually around this time, ever since Gruden took the Raiders' coaching job in 2018, so talk of the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback potentially not being in Las Vegas' future plans isn't new to these parts. What is new is the name who could reportedly replace Carr if the Raiders intended to part ways with him: Russell Wilson, whose agent told ESPN last week that Las Vegas was a preferred landing spot if the Seattle Seahawks were to trade him.
The surge in Carr rumors runs conversely to the Raiders' reported interest in trading his backup, Marcus Mariota, who performed well in one game in 2020. The trade market for the cuttable Mariota has dried up in recent weeks, but the point remains: Las Vegas is comfortable enough with Carr that it is eager to ditch the backup with starting experience who was brought in last offseason as a break-glass-in-case-of-"Carrmergency" option.
Carr not only has the support of Raiders honchos. The locker room has publicly thrown its support behind him in recent days as well. This week, Carr's fullback, Alec Ingold, said declaratively that Carr is "the guy," adding "I can't understand how anybody isn't ecstatic to have this guy as the quarterback." Earlier Wednesday, Carr's top target, Darren Waller, told Good Morning Football that he has "all the belief in the world in Derek Carr," who is "a guy that can take us everywhere we want to go."
Where the Raiders go in 2021 is up to them. Where Carr ends up is up to Mayock and Gruden, and as of Wednesday, it appears that answer is still, for the third consecutive offseason, nowhere but the Raiders' facility.