Derek Carr will be in a Raiders jersey this season, according to coach Jon Gruden.
Oakland reportedly had been shopping the 27-year-old quarterback at the NFL combine earlier this month. Gruden, however, said that was not the case during an interview Monday with NFL Network.
“He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors. … I’ve got a lot of confidence in Carr.”
Carr completed 68.9 percent of his passes and threw for 19 touchdowns, along with 10 interceptions, on a Raiders team that struggled in 2018.
Oakland, however, has made major upgrades to their offense, including trading for disgruntled Steelers receiver Antonio Brown as well as signing wideout Tyrell Williams and offensive lineman Trent Brown.
“I’m excited about Carr (and) what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here,” Gruden said.
Gruden said Brown — a seven-time Pro Bowl player with Pittsburgh — is “exactly what” the team needs.
“He’s one of the most prolific receivers in football,” Gruden said. “I think that he is the real deal. … A go-to, clutch football player at a position that we needed. And we are so excited to have him.
“The energy that he brings to the practice field, the meeting room, his preparation is legendary.”
Gruden left the broadcast booth and signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders in January 2018. Oakland finished with a 4-12 record during his first season with the team.
“It was a tough year,” Gruden said. “No doubt. For the fans, for the players, for the coaches and for me. But necessary. It was something we had to get through and we got through and we’re excited about the future.
“We’re on schedule. We had a great offseason. … We’ve established a really good work ethic in our building. Our guys know how to prepare, how to practice and we’ve got a good environment.”
The Raiders will have three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft next month.