Derek Carr is not a bad quarterback, and that’s an important thing to keep in mind amid the Tom Brady-Raiders discourse.
Even with that in mind, it’s a little odd that Jon Gruden, apparently pretty emphatically, chose Carr over Brady two and a half years ago.
UFC president Dana White said over the weekend that he worked to put a deal together in 2020 that would have brought Brady and Rob Gronkowski to Las Vegas, but Gruden swooped in and killed it at the last second. How far discussions got between the sides has since been disputed, but everyone seems to be in agreement that Gruden never was that interested in bringing in Brady.
Asked why that might be, former Raiders offensive lineman and current team radio analyst Lincoln Kennedy offered his take.
“Well, Jon Gruden is a little bit of a loyalist himself,” Kennedy told “The Zach Gelb Show” on CBS Sports Radio. “He was loyal to Derek Carr for all those years, believing in him for all the years that he had him.”
“Even when Derek Carr supposedly tore his groin in one of the games towards the end of the year (in 2020), (Marcus) Mariota went in there and played pretty well and almost beat the Chargers that game. Derek still got the start the next week when he was supposed to be out for at least 10 days or two weeks. Jon Gruden has always been somewhat of a quarterback loyalist, maybe to error, but it’s always been a part of him.”
Again, it’s not like the Raiders’ quarterback situation was so bad that they desperately needed Brady. Still, Brady immediately won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Gruden was out 18 months later after racist and homophobic emails surfaced.
On some level, that has to be making the Raiders rethink their decision if Gruden really was the one to tank any potential deal.
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