The Oakland Raiders’ franchise quarterback Derek Carr is in his sixth year, and he has been through three head coaches and just as many offensive coordinators since his rookie season in 2014, and his resulting 32-46 total win/loss record with the team has definitely caused some doubters (and haters) to emerge.
But now with the $100 million man, Jon Gruden, as his head coach for the second year in a row, Carr and the rest of the Raiders are finding some stability and new confidence, especially after seeing the amount of talent that general manager Mike Mayock collected over the offseason.
Despite his Raiders posting a lousy 4-12 record last season and having few high-level targets to toss footballs to, Carr proved he has talent by throwing for three career highs and here we take a look at those numbers as well as the odds and predictions of his possible 2019 output.
Derek Dallas Carr is a 28-year-old NFL quarterback who was born in 1991 in Bakersfield, California to mom Sheryl and dad Rodger before moving to Sugar Land, Texas in 2002.
AT first, Carr played football at Clements High School where he became the varsity starter and in two seasons threw for 2,868 total yards and 28 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.
As a senior, Carr transferred to Bakersfield Christian High School and went 12-1 before winning the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Division V championship and Carr was named the National Player of the Year by the National Private Schools Athletic Association in 2009.
Carr had been heavily recruited his junior year, but in the end, he chose to verbally commit to his older brother David’s alma mater, Fresno State, becoming that school’s first recruit for the 2009 class.
It started slow, with Carr as the backup his freshman year and then, after redshirting his 2010 season, as the starter in 2011.
Carr was given the 2013 CFPA Elite Quarterback award for his three seasons as the starter at Fresno State, throwing for a total of 12,843 yards and 113 touchdowns with 24 interceptions, topping 5,000+ yards for 50 touchdowns his senior season.
Fresno State retired Carr’s number 4 jersey and gave him a mural on campus, two sure signs that your college football career went pretty darn well.
Derek Carr was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft (36th pick overall) and was the fourth quarterback selected that year.
The Raiders and Carr agreed on a four-year rookie contract worth $5.37 million that came with a $2.2 million signing bonus.
Carr was named the starter over veteran Matt Schaub before Week 1 of his rookie season in 2014 and he went on to complete 348 passes for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, leading the team to a 3-13 record and a fourth-place finish in the AFC West.
The short answer is ‘not very’ for all but one season (that would be 2016 when his Raiders went 12-4, finished second in the AFC West and played in a Wild Card Playoff game).
Considering that Carr’s career passer rating is 88.8 and his overall win/loss record is 32-48, it’s not difficult to see why a lot of football fans doubt his ability to get the job done.
That said, Carr has always had the talent, arm and football IQ to lead an NFL team to victory but he has not been able to make that happen in the midst of continuous coaching and personnel changes, so it will be interesting to see if he can change his trajectory now that the roster around him has improved and his head coach is somewhat permanent.
In June of 2017, Carr and the Raiders agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $125 million with a $12.5 million signing bonus and $40 million of that total money fully guaranteed, with $70 million in total guarantees included.
At the time, that deal made Carr the highest-paid player in the NFL, but that didn’t last for very long, and now he sits as the ninth best-paid NFL star making $25 million per season.
Side Note: The highest-paid athlete in the NFL is the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who signed a deal that pays him $35 million per season with $107 million guaranteed.
Considering that his Oakland Raiders posted a 4-12 record in 2018 and finished last in the AFC West, Derek Carr had a decent season, at least on a personal level.
He completed 381-of-553 passes (a career-high) for 4,049 yards (a career-high) for 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (a career second lowest), averaging 7.3 yards per completion (a career-high).
The kink in all that shiny armor is obviously his touchdown total of 19, which is a career-low for Carr and an indication that he was having difficulty finding targets in the red zone.
The 2019 Oakland Raiders’ passing attack has been thoroughly rebooted after averaging 234.4 yards per game and ranking 18th in the NFL last season, and even worse, they were ranked 28th in scoring after averaging just 18.1 points per game.
Four of those receivers were lost through free agency (Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, Martavis Bryant, and Brandon LaFell) so newly hired Mayock got busy and spent the offseason finding available pass catchers.
Now, as a result, the top four receivers on the Raiders’ roster are brand new targets for Carr:
And also throw in rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow, the fifth-round draft pick from Clemson, who last year caught 49 passes for 544 yards and 1 touchdown, plus rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who in addition to his impressive rushing totals caught 48 passes for 571 yards and 5 touchdowns in his three seasons at Alabama.
For those not in the know, newly acquired receiver Antonio Brown, known for his attention-grabbing antics in Pittsburgh, has not disappointed on the West Coast by showing up to training camp with frostbite on his feet and an outdated (and illegal by NFL rules) helmet.
The frostbite occurred when Brown used a cryotherapy machine on his feet without wearing the proper footwear, and the helmet was one Brown favored but was deemed outdated and not allowed to be used.
Carr has told the media that he believes in Brown (whose feet are almost healed and whose helmet has been reportedly upgraded) is happy to have such a talented receiver to throw to and is not at all concerned about his new family-orientated teammate who he joked has “caught more balls from my children than from me.”
Currently, the 2019 Oakland Raiders are predicted to come in either 3rd or 4th place in the AFC West (along with the Denver Broncos), and in more bad news, there are ten other AFC teams with better odds than the Raiders of winning the next AFC Championship.
The good news is that head coach Gruden is on the second year of a ten-year, no trade, $100 million contract, so he is not at all afraid of losing his job any time soon and will most likely only be happy if the team can put up at least a few more than four wins this season.
This is the year for Derek Carr to prove to the football world that he not only has talent, but he also has the will to win, and maybe now that he has the targets and the consistent leadership to help get him there we will see his rebuilding Raiders establish some newfound respect.
For more details on the Oakland Raiders offseason, please check out our prior coverage: The Oakland Raiders’ Biggest Offseason Moves 2019 – Odds and Predictions
Yes, Carr did, back in January of this offseason after the host of ESPN’s First Take, Max Kellerman, basically questioned Carr’s heart, accusing him of being “too willing to tap out.”
It’s one thing to critique Carr’s football win/loss record with the Raiders (32-46 overall) or to even question his tendency to get banged up now and again, but the one thing Carr could not be quiet on is somebody, anybody, publicly questioning his will to play or his character.
So Carr essentially challenged Kellerman and co-host Stephen A. Smith to a UFC fight when he tweeted this message out to UFC President Dana White:
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) January 23, 2019
“hey how do I challenge a couple of these clowns on tv to a fight? I think we should start a business together. Where pro athletes can challenge some of these people to an octagon fight until they give us an answer…. You don’t know me… stop lying.” – Derek Carr to Dana White.
Needless to say, Kellerman and Smith have not (so far?) agreed to fight Carr in the octagon or anywhere, but the story (much to Carr’s dismay) did have legs for about a week.
The football gamblers love to bet on a quarterback’s total passing yards and total touchdowns for a season, so the oddsmakers offer their predictions for every NFL quarterback.
Here we take a look at Carr’s output predictions and briefly analyze each using his past production as a measuring stick to determine how possible it might be for him to beat the odds.
As always, only gamble what you can afford to lose, but definitely take advantage of any odds you deem to be in your favor.
Here are Carr’s current odds and predictions for 2019:
Caveat: Carr must play in game one for action to commence.
|Sportsbook||Total Passing Yards||Link|
|888Sport NJ||Over 4050.5 -110||Under 4050.5 -110|
|BetStars NJ||Over 4049.5 -110||Under 4049.5 -110|
* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER
Analysis: The oddsmakers must be incredibly impressed by the new talent Mike Mayock brought in this offseason because Carr has never actually beaten this over in his entire career.
In fact, the only time he has thrown for over 4,000 yards was last season, and he barely did that with 4,049 total passing yards, which, again, was a career-high but would not have beaten this over.
Sure the Raider’s roster looks solid on both sides of the ball, but this would be a tough ‘over’ to take until Carr begins to prove he is the real NFL deal.
|Sportsbook||Total Passing Touchdowns||Link|
|888Sport NJ||Over 23.5 -110||Under 23.5 -110|
* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER
Analysis: Carr has only beat this over twice but both times it was by a bunch – once in 2015 when he threw for 32 touchdowns and was selected for the Pro Bowl for the first of three times and the other time in 2016 when he threw for 28 touchdowns and led the Raiders to the playoffs for the first time in fourteen seasons.
Of course, his other totals have come close – 21 touchdowns in 2014, 22 touchdowns in 2017 and 19 touchdowns last season.
The obvious cause for the over this season is Antonio Brown, who all by himself last year caught 15 touchdown passes – albeit from a Super Bowl Champion – but regardless, this over (barring injury, of course) is tough to pass up.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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