One by one, members of the Raiders are lobbying for their quarterback. Shortly after Raiders tight end Darren Waller publicly supported Derek Carr, Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock spoke glowingly of the team's signal caller.
While rumors have circulated about Carr's future, Mayock and Raiders coach Jon Gruden appear to be content having Carr under center for at least the upcoming season. Carr, a three-time Pro Bowler, has two years remaining on his current contract. In 2020, Carr threw for over 4,000 yards for a third consecutive season. His 27 touchdowns were his highest total since 2016.
"I think Derek Carr had his best year yet, under Jon Gruden," Mayock said, via ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. "I think he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and we're happy with him ... I think Jon Gruden and I would stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."
Waller, who has emerged as one of the NFL's top tight ends, acknowledged Wednesday that the Raiders' lack of team success has led to outside criticism of Carr. That being said, Waller believes that Carr is one of the main reasons for the Raiders' turnaround following a disastrous 2018 season. After a 4-12 record during Gruden's first season back under center, the Raiders won seven games in 2019. Last season, the Raiders were 6-3 before finishing with a .500 record. Furthermore, Waller feels that Carr will be a key component of the Raiders' success moving forward.
"I have all the belief in the world in Derek Carr," Waller told NFL Network. "I have ever since I got here. I still do to this day. I think he's a guy that can take us everywhere we want to go."
"It's the general belief that Derek Carr isn't the guy. That doesn't make sense to me," Ingold told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I just don't understand it. Because he is the guy. In our locker room, there is a sense of pride that we have our guy and we're gonna ride with our guy.
"That is what bothers me more than anything. I can't understand how anybody isn't ecstatic to have this guy as the quarterback. By the way he plays. By the way he competes. By the way he leads.
"There is a sense of confidence around here that Derek Carr is our quarterback."
While the Raiders' 30th-ranked scoring defense was largely responsible for last year's 8-8 record, the narrative around Carr won't dissipate until he leads Las Vegas back to the postseason, a place the franchise's has not been to since 2016. It does appear, based on Mayock's comments, that Carr will get yet another chance to lead the Raiders to the postseason in 2021.
In order to make that a reality, Mayock will have to add some pieces to the Raiders' defense this offseason. He will also have to replenish Carr's receiving corps with Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones set to enter free agency.