Derek Carr, Raiders
USA Today

Derek Carr Backed by His Teammates

The Oakland Raiders are the subject of much speculation and criticism at the moment. No player more so than Derek Carr, who is the target of trade rumors.

Derek Carr being traded would have been unthinkable a couple of weeks ago. However, with the trade activity that has gone on in Oakland recently, you can’t rule anything out.

The Oakland Raiders are clearly a team going through some chances. In the last two months, they’ve traded away Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper. The latter was sent to the Dallas Cowboys in return for a first round pick in 2019.

 

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Head coach Jon Gruden appeared to guarantee that Derek Carr would not leave the team, albeit in a non-committal way.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the Cooper trade, Gruden seemed confident that Oakland’s business was done.

“I don’t see us making any more trades,” Gruden told reporters.

“I didn’t see us making a trade the other day, I really didn’t. But sometimes, like I said, your plans change whether you like it or not. You don’t know who’s going to call you and what they’re going to say, you really don’t. … I don’t see us making any more trades. But I’ll never say never again to anybody.”

When asked about the possibility of trading Carr, he repeated himself:

“I don’t see us making any more trades,” Gruden repeated. “Certainly, I don’t see us trading our quarterback.”

 

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Carr, a 4th year quarterback, seems vulnerable right now amid trade speculation and questions as to his toughness. While Gruden’s comments were not the most reassuring, his teammates have leapt to Carr’s defense.

 

Tight End Lee Smith hailed Carr as the team’s leader, calling reports questioning his toughness ‘comical’.

“It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard ever,” Smith said Wednesday, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “It’s to the point to where it’s comical and laughable that I’m even sitting here talking about it. Us as players have zero issue with DC. He is our leader; he’s always been our leader. We put a C on his chest for a reason along with Rodney Hudson.

“Regardless of what face he makes after a tackle or what everybody wants to dive into and wear him out about, attacking his character or attacking him as a leader on this football team is a joke. And I hope that everyone hears me loud and clear about what a joke it is. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. And it’s laughable and not fair to him when it’s obviously not coming from inside this locker room.”

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