The Oakland Raiders are entering year two of a ground-up rebuild under new (old) head coach Jon Gruden. The team is flush with draft picks after it traded star edge-rusher Khalil Mack and standout wide receiver Amari Cooper—and equally flush with roster holes.

After Derek Carr's tumultuous fifth season, which included a 4-12 record, sideline dustups with his head coach and a challenge to fight an ESPN personality, there was speculation that Oakland's rebuild might include severing ties with the quarterback via either a trade or the 27-year-old's outright release.

That idea has been tabled. Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Carr's $19.9 million salary for 2019 became fully guaranteed Wednesday. Gruden's engineered some dubious personnel decisions since he took over the Raiders in January 2018, but staying the course with Carr was more than just the right play.

It was the Raiders' only play. 

It been clear for a while that the reports of Carr's Raiders demise were exaggerated. In December, Gruden told Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Areathat despite a lack of team success, he was pleased with Carr's performance in 2018