Las Vegas Raiders: Why these 4 big contracts need to be great in 2021
Derek Carr, QB
As is the case for any football team, having a great player at quarterback is the difference between winning a bunch of games, and losing more than you win. In Derek Carr, the Raiders have an above-average player, but in 2021, he needs to look more like the 2016 version of himself.
In that year, Carr was flat-out great and led the Raiders to their first playoff berth since 2002.
While it may seem unfair, especially with all the turmoil that has gone on within the organization since he took over as the starter, wins and losses are attributed to quarterbacks more than any other player, so if you judge him by that, he has not delivered. The 2020 season was not mainly Carr’s fault, as the offense thrived for the better part of the year, but the defense was porous and led to many of the Raider losses.
Nevertheless, the Raiders have upgraded the defense significantly in 2021, and Carr going into his eighth year as the starter has a career record of 47-63 with no playoff experience. The clock may be ticking on the captain and his reign on top.
This is clearly up for debate, with head coach Jon Gruden not being very vocal in his opinion of the veteran quarterback. But with a contract that due to expire after the 2022 season, it is strange that the Raiders have not looked into extending their long-time quarterback.