The Las Vegas Raiders have made headlines for their inclusion in various quarterback rumors. It’s unclear if they will move on from Derek Carr, but if they do, there are plenty of options in free agency and the NFL Draft for them to pursue like Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports named the Raiders as the top potential landing spot for Winston aside from the Buccaneers. The outcome was dependant on Las Vegas moving on from Carr.
The Raiders have Derek Carr under contract through the 2022 season, but they can cut him this offseason and save almost $14 million in cap space. If Jon Gruden is ready to move on from Carr, he’d likely at least discuss bringing in Winston, especially if the Raiders were to miss out on some of the bigger names, like Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.
It seems that Winston would best be served as a backup option for the Raiders if they were to move on from Carr but strike out on top free-agent options. They could still take a quarterback in the NFL Draft and have that prospect develop for a season or two.
A wild card in this situation could be the reported interest Jon Gruden has in Winston. Perhaps Gruden may think he can help Winston improve as a decision-maker and cut down on the 30 interceptions he threw for the Buccaneers last season. After all, he led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and racked up 33 touchdowns.
The Raiders could benefit from having a more dynamic quarterback than Derek Carr but they shouldn’t feel pressured to make a change. Last season, he completed an effective percentage of his passes (70.4%) and keeps his interceptions low (1.6% interception percentage), but totaled only 21 touchdowns.
Regardless of if Derek Carr or Jameis Winston is the quarterback for the Raiders in 2020, they’re going to need to add more firepower to their offense. Winston needs talent around him to keep him disciplined while Carr would require it to help elevate his impact.