As the NFL quarterback carousel begins to turn, the Las Vegas Raiders have minimal desire to board the ride. Despite rumors listing them as one of the most likely teams to land Deshaun Watson, silence from the Raiders camp.
There have not been reports of the Raiders avoiding Watson or any of the available quarterbacks, but there have not been any referring to the Raiders inquiring about any of them either.
Vote of Confidence
Las Vegas’ front office has come out to report that Derek Carr is their QB1 moving forward, and any inquiries about Watson (or others) would be contrary to their previous statements. By announcing Carr as the starter, the Raiders have essentially announced that they feel better with Carr than trading for Watson. Obviously, the Raiders, and almost every other team, want Watson but the discussion becomes the Texans asking price.
Matthew Stafford is an aging great while Watson is elite and still in his prime. Watson will go for three or more first-round picks. The addition of Watson to Las Vegas would take a “very good” offense to a great one, but the loss of a handful of picks would decimate the Raiders’ future plans.
Watson should be regarded on the market as the “finishing piece” for a playoff-ready team. This would also remove the Raiders from consideration as it is quite obvious that the defense needs more help before any playoff discussions can be had.
Dante’s Favorite Spot
As the Raiders enter their eighth season led by Carr, many would categorize the Raiders in quarterback purgatory. There are certainly better options available, but reaching those quarterback’s asking prices would make achieving team success even more difficult. On the other hand, there are also other quarterbacks available, but they could hurt offensive efficiency.
If Vegas cannot build a playoff team around Carr, it could be time for a Jared Goff-esque move where the team may have to lose future picks to get over the hump. With the Jared Goff trade feeling like a win-now, this could keep the heat on Carr to produce. Division rivals mostly look stable at quarterback. The Raiders need to.