Heading into the 2021 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders will be carrying the same three quarterbacks as last season. Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, and Nathan Peterman will be the three in contention. Should the Raiders carry all three into the season, or roll with only two? Lets make the case for both options.
Why the Raiders Should Only Carry 2 Quarterbacks
If the Raiders decide to go with just two QBs, they would likely cut Nathan Peterman and carry Marcus Mariota as the sole backup.
There are a couple reasons why the Raiders should only roll with two quarterbacks. First, Vegas already has two proven starters. Both Carr and Mariota have been starting quarterbacks for several years in their career, and have both succeeded in those roles.
We know Carr can lead an offense as the starter. Mariota has struggled during his career, but also has led his team to the playoffs, and even has a playoff win under his belt. With two players with starting experience, how much do the Raiders really need a third quarterback? When Carr was briefly injured last year, we saw Mariota step in and succeed.
When Carr left early in the Week 15 Thursday night matchup against the Chargers with a groin injury, Mariota had himself a night. He went 17/28 passing for 226 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and also added 9 carries for 88 yards and a TD.
Another thing to consider is Derek Carr’s injury history. Aside from breaking his leg in 2016, Carr has been one of the most consistently healthy quarterbacks in the league. He hardly ever misses a game, and the need for a third quarterback has been slim to none in recent years with Carr as the starter.
Finally, the Raiders have plenty other positions of need. As I mentioned earlier, with two starting-caliber quarterbacks, it would be wise to use a roster spot on a position of need, like somewhere on the defense. There are still plenty of spots around the roster that could use help, and an extra roster spot would provide just that.
Why the Raiders Should Carry 3 Quarterbacks
First, COVID-19 complications remain an issue in the NFL. We saw what happened when the Raiders offensive line was decimated last year due to COVID-19 protocols. Last year, the Broncos had to start WR Kendall Hinton at quarterback because of those same COVID-19 issues.
Because of this, it becomes much more important nowadays to have as many players possible at a position. The Raiders could opt to sign Nathan Peterman to their practice squad under the expanded practice squad rules for 2021. Peterman would then be available for emergency situations if eligible under the protocols.
Another reason the Raiders might carry all three on the active roster is to help further Nathan Peterman’s development. Many Raiders fans already have their mind made up about Peterman. Although his stats are admittedly awful, Peterman has still only started four games in his career. He’s looked good during the two preseason games as well, and led his team to victories in both of them.
Peterman could continue to develop on the practice squad. But the Raiders would then have to designate him as one of four protected practice squad players each week to prevent him from being signed to another team.
Now, in no way am I saying Peterman is a quarterback who could develop into a star. To be fair to him though, he played very well in college and has had a very limited amount of experience in the NFL. If Peterman is able to impress Jon Gruden enough during this last preseason week, he might find a spot on the team.
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