As the Russell Wilson sweepstakes heat up, the Las Vegas Raiders find themselves in a unique position to make a move for the eight-time Pro Bowler. In fact, the AFC West organization landed on a short list of teams that the 32-year-old would prefer to go to if he were to be traded.
“Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, his agent Mark Rodgers told ESPN,” NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted last week. “Wilson has told the Seahawks he wants to play in Seattle but, if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders, Bears.”
The report caught the attention of Raiders’ fans who pondered if the team would make a move for Wilson if he became available.
However, franchise general manager Mike Mayock dismissed any conversation about the Seahawks quarterback on Wednesday. The Raiders executive said that he “can’t talk about” other players when asked if he had a reaction to Wilson’s trade list, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
He followed up the statement by reiterating that he and head coach Jon Gruden “pound the table for Derek Carr.”
If you were wondering Mayock’s reaction to Russell Wilson’s list and other rumors, he said “I can’t talk about other players.”
Mayock did reiterate that he and Jon Gruden “pound the table for Derek Carr.”#Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 3, 2021
Mayock’s defense of Carr continues a long trend, dating back to the beginning of the offseason. The team’s general manager has stood by the 29-year-old quarterback, despite the Raiders constantly being brought up in quarterback rumors.
“I think the most important point is that Derek did have an exceptional year,” Mayock said in late January, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I think he’s gotten better each year with Jon (Gruden), which is kind of exciting to us internally.”
Carr did perform admirably in 2020, throwing for a career-high 4,103 yards and 27 touchdowns. The team’s defense proved to be the major issue, ranking 30th in the league in points allowed per game (29.9).
Although Carr is certainly capable of leading the Raiders in 2021, trading for Wilson would land Las Vegas a generational talent. While it still seems like the nine-year veteran will head back to Seattle, Mayock would be wise to pick up the phone if the Seahawks come calling.