The Raiders weren’t pretty to watch in 2018. They won just four games, traded away two of their most-talented players, fired their general manager and appeared to be a mess on the field and off.
When first-year head coach Jon Gruden told the media in November that a lot of talented players across the NFL have told him they want to come play for the Raiders, he was mocked.
Yet now, as the Raiders move toward free-agent signing season and the NFL draft, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is saying the same thing.
The Raiders need playmakers and an influx of talent up and down the roster, and Carr says Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock will have no shortage of options to pick from.
“I’ve talked to some guys,” Carr said on his YouTube Channel, according to Matt Schneidman of the Bay Area News Group. “I wish I could tell you who. … Contrary to popular belief, people want to come play for the Raiders. Coach Gruden was right about that.”
To those outside the Raiders locker room, the obvious question would be, “Why?”
It’s still not certain where the Raiders – eventually bound for Las Vegas – will play in 2019. Owner Mark Davis has ceded almost total power to Gruden with a 10-year deal, and Gruden was at the helm when defensive superstar Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper were dealt for draft picks.
Though the Raiders have five first-round draft picks over the next two years and plenty of room under the salary cap, are they a team on the rise or a team in disarray?
According to Carr, who posted his video to YouTube Thursday, Gruden is the attraction. He trusts in Gruden.
“We’ve got Coach Gruden, man, and this dude is awesome,” he said. “It’s fun working with him every day. It’s a joy to be around him in our building. It’s a great time to learn from him.”
If Carr is correct, and the Gruden-Mayock combo is able to bring in significant talent this offseason, Raiders fans could start to be excited about 2019. The free-agent signings will tell the story.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Carr-Says-Many-NFL-Players-Want-to-Come-to-Raiders-504546291.html.