Since the conclusion of the 2019 season, there has been a ton of speculation about Derek Carr‘s future with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Carr has said that he plans on being the quarterback of the team in 2020, but that hasn’t stopped people bringing up different guys to replace him. The biggest name, of course, is long-time New England Patriots star Tom Brady as he is currently a free agent and may be considering making a change.
The speculation was at an all-time high last weekend at UFC 246 in Las Vegas. Although Conor McGregor stole the show with a 40-second knockout of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in his return to the Octogan, the football world was more focused on Brady chatting it up with Raiders owner Mark Davis ringside.
Carr is still in the midst of his five-year, $125 million contract extension that he signed in 2017, but the intrigue was there, even in a night in which Brady was not the star.
For Carr, he found the idea that Davis would try to pursue Brady at the fight laughable, via Paul Guitierrez of ESPN:
“I mean, there was a lot of quarterbacks at that fight,” Carr said with a laugh of the Conor McGregor-Donald Cerrone bout when speaking to ESPN. “And there was a lot of football players at that fight that are free agents. And it’s like, every time, with my job, it’s always a story. No matter what. And knowing some people that were around, I even know what the conversation was [between Davis and Brady], and it’s like, ‘C’mon, man, when’s it going to end?’
Even in a star-studded evening in which he was not in attendance, Carr found himself as the one in the spotlight. Despite having a career-best year in passing yards and completion percentage, many feel that the Raiders could pursue a change this offseason and if a six-time Super Bowl winner wants to play for your team, it’s hard to say no even if he is 42 years of age.
Carr is used to the speculation though and the Raiders’ all-time passing leader is confident that he will be the team’s quarterback when they open up Allegiant Stadium later this year:
“All of these things that [you’d think] everyone would be like, ‘Yes, we’re going the right way. Everything’s getting better, and we know where we need to add things and where we [need] help.’ You would think that that would be the story. But that’s not how it works. And I understand that now,” Carr said.
“Especially when people are seen with certain people. It’s like, ‘Oh, gosh. Well, I was at dinner with [Davis] last night. Does that count for anything?’ Golly. It’s just funny. But I’m used to it now. But I’ll say it this way: I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out — until I’m done.”
Carr’s professionalism continues to be his defining characteristic as he wades through the endless pool of rumors. Hopefully, he can maintain his composure on the field when the Raiders hit the turf for the first time in Las Vegas. The rumors and speculation will likely continue until Brady decides when he wants to play next season though, which should make for a rollercoaster offseason.