Derek Carr recruited his own backup QB in EJ Manuel
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is making sure the team has a quality backup for him this season.
Derek Carr might have a future in Oakland Raiders' front office after his promising playing days are over.
The Raiders quarterback has been extremely influential in free agency so far this offseason. Every offensive acquisition has spoken highly of him, as Carr has been directly involved in the recruitment of these players. He even had a hand in landing former Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel.
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Manuel confirmed that Carr reached out to him during the free-agency process and said that their communication was "huge" in his decision to sign with the Raiders, according to Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com. He also credited his relationship with Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing for the role it played in his decision-making.
So, in a sense, Carr hand-picked his backup quarterback by convincing Manuel to sign with the Raiders. Of course, Manuel will have to beat 2016 fourth-round draft pick Connor Cook in training camp to earn the right to serve as Carr's immediate backup. Thrown to the wolves late in the season, Cook did little last year to ensure that he'll lock down that job.
Manuel, a Florida State product, was picked by the Bills in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft (16th overall). Carr came out of Fresno State a year later and was selected by the Raiders in the second round (36th overall). Manuel, who just turned 27, is roughly one year older than Carr.
The fact that they are so close in age and entered the league in back-to-back drafts should make for an interesting starter-backup dynamic between Carr and Manuel. After seeing what happens when Carr goes down last season, the Raiders are making sure the battle for backup quarterback is competitive in 2017.
Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter: @247KevinBoilard
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