For the second offseason in a row, there seems to be a specific eagerness to throw the Raiders into the quarterback market and link them to whichever highly-touted signal-caller is currently surfing along the rumor mill. If they were to acquire such a talent, that would oust current starter Derek Carr from the spot he's manned since 2014 for what is perceived to be an upgrade. The latest chapter in this saga comes from Russell Wilson and the rumbling that he may be nearing a divorce with the Seattle Seahawks. If the two sides were to separate, Wilson, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, has reportedly eyed Las Vegas as one of his preferred destinations.
While Carr may not have much support outside the organization by some in the NFL-watching world who would replace him with Wilson in an instant, those inside the locker room still appear quite confident in the quarterback's ability. An example of that comes from Raiders fullback Alec Ingold, who told Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he's a bit fed up with the lack of faith in what Carr brings to the table. While Ingold -- a fellow Wisconsin Badger -- respects Wilson, he believes Carr can take this team to the promised land.
"It's the general belief that Derek Carr isn't the guy," Ingold told Bonsignore. "That doesn't make sense to me. 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."
The biggest knock on Carr throughout his Raiders tenure -- fair or unfair -- is that he hasn't been able to elevate the club to a routine presence in the playoffs. Since the Raiders lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII to conclude the 2002 season, the team has reached the postseason just once -- and it resulted in a 27-14 loss to the Houston Texans during the wild-card round of the 2016 playoffs. Carr was playing extremely well that season but a broken fibula during a Week 16 matchup with the Colts sidelined him for the rest of the year. Since that 12-4 season in 2016, the Raiders have been under .500 up until their 8-8 campaign in 2020.
That lack of overall team success has been one of the driving forces that suggests a possible shake-up at quarterback is needed.
That being said, Ingold doesn't see Carr as the issue for the club's mediocrity over the past few seasons and a late-season slump in 2020 where they lost five of their last seven games.
"I remember my first season, Derek came and spoke to all the rookies, and all he talked about was the singular goal of making the Super Bowl," Ingold recalled. "That was my first impression of Derek Carr. From that day moving forward, that is all I've seen from him in how he works and how he plays and how he performs. That's his mentality and that's all he cares about. And I think that same mentality runs throughout this locker room. Not just in the belief we have in Derek, but the confidence that we are a lot closer than people realize. The bottom line is, I believe Derek can take this team and this organization to a Super Bowl."
Of course, the rumors suggesting that the Raiders will be in the thick of the QB market likely won't go away. That said, Ingold's backing of his current signal-caller is notable, especially if that sentiment is shared throughout the entire Raiders organization.