First of all: yes, the headline is the proudest I've been of anything in a very long time. Second of all: no, Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hasn't sent quarterback Derek Carr packing just yet. But you don't let a headline like that go to waste.
In his latest MMQB Mailbag, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer took a question about concerns about the Las Vegas Raiders' coach/quarterback combo, and Breer says Derek Carr likely won't be the long-term answer for Gruden and GM Mike Mayock.
Here's what Breer had to say in response to a question asking if Gruden and Carr really don't like each other:
I think there’s been some tension, yes, and their personalities definitely don’t meld perfectly. Gruden’s tough on his quarterbacks, and wants them to play with an edge, and that’s not really who Carr is. That said, the results haven’t exactly been bad. His pass rating in Year 1 playing Gruden, and in his complex offense, was the second highest (93.9) of his career. And last year, his passer rating topped 100 for the first time.
But I do think, eventually, Gruden and GM Mike Mayock will replace him. Maybe it’s with Marcus Mariota. Maybe it’s with someone else down the line. For now, Carr’s got three years left on his contract at very affordable numbers—$19 million this year, $19.625 million next year, and $19.876 million in 2022—which gives Vegas the flexibility to go forward with a quarterback they can win with, while still perusing the market.
This isn't earth-shattering news about the team that just gave Marcus Mariota a two-year $17.6 million deal after Ryan Tannehill took his job and turned it into a $118 million extension, but it is interesting to hear a few details from Breer about the relationship, beyond the play-style. It's no secret that Gruden was a big Mariota fan before the 2015 NFL Draft, but did you remember that he said Mariota was "like Russell Wilson, only he is 6-4?" Yikes.
Carr, Mariota, or yes-he's-really-the-third-stringer Nathan Peterman, I don't think the Raiders offense will be functioning on any sort of noteworthy (or certainly Chiefs-threatening) level in 2020. As much as I like Henry Ruggs III, the Raiders still need a franchise quarterback, and it sounds like Gruden knows that too.
Click here for Breer's full mailbag for much more around the NFL world.