If the Raiders take the field against the Bengals on Saturday, Rich Bisaccia will lead them out. The interim coach took over a team in turmoil following the dismissal of Jon Gruden and led them to the playoffs.
Yet, when they lose, uncertainty awaits.
The Raiders will conduct a full and in-depth coaching search as the offseason begins, and it looks like quarterback Derek Carr’s future will be linked to that.
Las Vegas and Carr have a mutual decision to make this offseason, and sources say the head coach’s choice will be a factor.
Carr has revealed that his preference is to stay with the Raiders, famous for saying he would probably quit football as opposed to playing for another team. But with a year left on his 5-year, $ 125-million contract, he has earned a near-top of the market extension.
At the back of Carr’s stellar game, the Raiders ended the season with four consecutive wins – all with four points or less. How the organization will approach the expansion will tell.
The performance of general manager Mike Mayock will also be evaluated by owner Mark Davis, and whether he stays may also affect Carr’s future.
If the pendulum swings in the other direction, and the Raiders and Carr decide to part ways, expect a long line of fans for Carr, who impressed when it was most on the field this season. From the field, when Gruden fled amid scandal and former receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after his involvement in a fatal traffic collision, Carr was essential to keeping that locker room together.
Among the teams that would make sense for Carr are the Saints, Texans and maybe the Colts, if they decide to move on from Carson Wentz. If Carr, in fact, is available, he’s likely to get more interest than that.