Is Derek Carr the right man for the job at quarterback, or no? The Las Vegas Raiders continue to answer that question with a resounding "yes," and the three-time Pro Bowler, and all signs point at him sticking around and the team -- as he clashes quite publicly with the Seattle Seahawks. But as the Raiders look to a future that presumably includes Carr, there are changes being made and/or considered to the wall in front of him, and that includes starting offensive linemen Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown.
The team is reportedly expected to release Jackson ahead of NFL free agency, per NFL insider Josina Anderson, a move that will clear roughly $9.76 million in cap space. Not set on stopping there in their O-line rework, they've also reportedly begun having discussions about potentially trading Brown, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, which means the 2021 season could see Carr take the field absent two familiar starters in the trenches.
Time will tell if they're able to get a reasonable offer for Brown, but they should, considering the market for a talented starting tackle is perennial, and when factoring in how thin the current pool of available players is -- be that in unrestricted free agency or via trade. Brown is both a Pro Bowl player and a Super Bowl champion, the latter stemming from his days protecting Tom Brady for the New England Patriots in 2018. He went on to join the Raiders via trade with the Patriots and then on signed a four-year, $66 million contract in Oakland (now Las Vegas).
His contract will obviously be a major talking point in any trade, because the team that acquires Brown would have to absorb the final two years of the deal at a combined salary cap hit of $29.25 million -- barring a reworked contract -- which could be off-putting a bit for a right tackle. None of the funds are guaranteed, however, and that would allow the new club to play the next final two years by ear, knowing they could release him without suffering a dead money hit to their cap.
While the Raiders attempt to work out something regarding Brown, Jackson is now looking for a new football home, effective immediately, having played for no other team since being selected by Oakland/Las Vegas in the 2014 NFL Draft. The former All-SEC talent will assuredly garner interest on the open market, and the cap-strapped Raiders will use the savings from his release to dig out of the red, financially. This does mean, of course, that they'll now have to replace him going forward, but that's a bridge they'll cross in either free agency or the upcoming draft -- likely the latter.
As for Carr, he should begin preparing to acclimate to one, possibly two, new starters on his O-line in 2021.