Carr annoyed at rumors Raiders would draft QB

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr said he was confident the Oakland Raiders would not draft a quarterback this offseason, but did admit the constant swirl of speculation got under his skin.

"Honestly, it got annoying after a while," Carr admitted Tuesday after the team's first OTA practice, in his first meeting with Bay Area media since the 2018 season finale. "I'm like, 'Really, they don't have nothing else to talk about?' And I didn't help the situation, trying to challenge people to fights."

Carr laughed, but he was not happy in January when he did, in fact, challenge ESPN First Take's Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman to an MMA-style match due to criticism they levied at Carr.

That the Raiders did not pick a QB with any of their nine selections in April's draft -- instead sticking with Carr and backups Nathan Peterman, Mike Glennon and Landry Jones -- only solidified Carr as the franchise quarterback. Particularly after conversations with owner Mark Davis, general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden.

"We are always on the same page, because that's what our team needs," Carr said. "That's what the good organizations do."

Which is why Carr, 28, said there was a "minus-47 percent chance in my mind" that Oakland was going to draft a quarterback, despite being linked to Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock.

"They pretty much said that, literally every time it came up," Carr said of getting votes of confidence from the front office. "If it came up. And we're not just playing for this year. I'm honestly going to be here for a long time."

Gruden said Carr did "a lot of good things" last season, and by adding weapons such as receivers Antonio Brown, who did not attend the first practice of the voluntary OTAs after being at most of the offseason training program's first phase, and Tyrell Williams and right tackle Trent Brown, "hopefully a lot of these thing will show up and he'll be a great quarterback, which I know he will be.

"I think he's pretty well respected as one of the best arm talents in football," Gruden added. "I think he's a lot more athletic than people think. I think if we can [maintain] continuity in this building with the system and with the supporting cast, improve the defense, I think he can be one of the best in football."

Still, as Carr enters Year 3 of his five-year, $125 million extension, his $19.9 million base salary for this year is already guaranteed. And if he and the Raiders struggle mightily this season, more speculation will mount, especially since the dead-money hit for the Raiders would be a relatively manageable $5 million if they cut or trade him next offseason. Then start up those Is-Derek Carr-the-Raiders'-QB-in-Las Vegas stories.

"No doubt, right?" Carr said, laughing. "Here we go again. Let's just, let's just get through this year first and we'll play that game again. And I'll have some more fun with it.

"But I'm not going anywhere. This is my team and it will be for as much, however long I want it to be."

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