AFC Notes: Derek Carr, Chargers, Raiders

Derek Carr

Raiders GM Mike Mayock said Derek Carr had an “exceptional year” and feels he improved each of his three seasons under HC Jon Gruden. 

“I think the most important point is that Derek did have an exceptional year,” Mayock said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.I think he’s gotten better each year with Jon, which is kind of exciting to us internally.”

Although Mayock refused to say whether he’s been in touch with Carr’s representation to renegotiate his contract to add guarantees, he added that he is “always interested” in keeping their “good players.” 

“I think we’re always interested in keeping good players for as long as we can,” said Mayock. 

However, Mayock mentioned that he and Gruden will always examine the potential trade and free-agent market at any position in order to upgrade.  

“I think Jon and I come from the same school on that,” Mayock said. “You want to know, at any position, which players might be available via trade. Just like you do in free agency. … And you’re always trying to upgrade. I just think it’s incumbent upon every organization to do that at every position.”


New Chargers OC Joe Lombardi will bring a lot of influences from the Saints offense with him to Los Angeles. One is the use of running backs in the passing game, where he already has one of the best air backs in the league in Chargers RB Austin Ekeler.

“I know that Ekeler has some of the skillset that I’m used to seeing in New Orleans with Reggie or Darren Sproles, or A.K,” Lombardi said via Hayley Elwood of the team’s website. “That’s exciting, to have someone with that skillset. It’s very exciting to come in knowing that those pieces are in place and that we have a good chance to hit the ground running.”

  • Former Steelers OL coach Shaun Surratt is joining the Chargers as an assistant OL coach. (Tom Pelissero)
  • The Chargers will retain DL coach Giff Smith on the new staff. (Daniel Popper)


  • When asked about the possibility of the Raiders trading Derek Carr and two first-round picks to acquire Texans QB Deshaun Watson, Vic Tafur of The Athletic doesn’t think it makes a lot of sense to deal Carr but “never say never” with HC Jon Gruden.
  • Regarding possible edge rushers that could fall to the Raiders at No. 17 overall in the 2021 Draft, Tafur names Michigan’s Kwity Paye and Miami’s Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau as players to keep an eye on. 
  • Tafur could see impending free-agent WR Nelson Agholor command an $11 million annual deal similar to WR Tyrell Williams, which could price him out of Las Vegas. 
  • Instead, Tafur thinks the Raiders could sign another veteran discount receiver and start second-year WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. 
  • Tafur writes that it is possible for the Raiders to draft an offensive lineman at No. 17 given RT Trent Brown may be a cap casualty. 
  • Tafur notes that the Raiders can create $48 million by releasing Brown, Williams, QB Marcus Mariota, DB Lamarcus Joyner, and DE Carl Nassib

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