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New FSM Feature: Ticking Carr Bomb – The Derek Carr Trade – Where does Las Vegas send the 4x Pro Bowl quarterback?

Franchise Sports Media

 

After nine seasons together, the Raiders are looking for a trade partner to move Derek Carr to. The 2014 second-round draft pick from Fresno State will leave with essentially all of the franchise’s major passing records and has only ever worn Silver & Black. So, where will he head next?

 

Raiders vs Rams
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With both the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and NFL Pro Bowl games freshly behind us, the two events gave us plenty of chatter on who will be the next signal caller for the Las Vegas Raiders after Derek Carr. The trending name is Aaron Rodgers.

The weekend prior to Super Bowl LVII, Rodgers and Ben Silverman paired to win the Pro-Am played on California’s Carmel Bay. While there, the NFL’s back-to-back reigning MVP poked fun with several guests and competitors about the chance of suiting up in Silver & Black with his old favorite target, Davante Adams, who has shown he can dominate without Rodgers throwing him passes.

Adams was a mainstay at the NFL Pro Bowl games occurring simultaneously as Rodgers’ golf tourney. When the All-Pro wide receiver found the end zone in Sunday’s flag football game, he was sure to celebrate in Rodgers’ “discount-double check” fashion. Naturally, the press and social media have run rampant with the idea from there.

But before any of that can happen, there is still an elephant wearing the number four in the room, and he had himself an impressive weekend, as well. If the Raiders wish to bring in a contract the size of the one Rodgers maintains, they’ll need to first (or in the same trade) facilitate a Derek Carr trade to another suitor. 

 

After February 15th, the financial side will become increasingly difficult since Carr’s 2022 extension guarantees a $32.9 million base salary if he is still rostered by the aforementioned date, which is about a week away from authorship of this article.

 

Raiders vs Seahawks
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Derek Carr, who received a late invitation to the 2023 Pro Bowl after other AFC signal callers were either hurt, still playing, or declined, took the games by storm. With what may be his last showing in Las Vegas, Carr dominated the precision passing challenge on Thursday night by leading all passers with 31 points, giving the AFC side the overall victory in the event. The next closest was Tyler Huntley with 21 points; Kirk Cousins rounded out the bottom with 14 points.

Carr also looked crisp in the flag football game on Sunday afternoon, tossing two touchdowns and an interception en route to a late loss. I guess we have all seen that before. Although there certainly are multiple suitors (considering several teams are still looking for an immediate answer at quarterback), some landing spots make more sense than others.

Of course, there is the possibility that teams will simply wait for the Feb. 15th deadline to pass, essentially forcing Las Vegas to release Carr without receiving any compensation in return; Carr and the other teams ultimately hold the leverage in this scenario, especially since DC4 has a no-trade clause.

All that considered, the Raiders will basically have a slim three-day window after Super Bowl LVII and before February 15th to strike a deal with a team that Carr approves of in order to receive any future value for their franchise passing leader. Yes, it is a tall task. Still, before Vegas can bring in the likes of Aaron Rodgers, they need Carr’s payroll off the books one way or another, in addition to putting together a lucrative enough trade package for AR12 that would entice Green Bay to play ball (likely the Raiders’ 2023 7th overall pick and more).

 

With everything on the table, the following are two squads from both conferences that are most likely to be Derek Carr’s next team.

 

AFC

 

New York Jets

 

Raiders vs Saints
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There seem to be several factors for both Carr and “Gang Green” that could create a harmonious working relationship. Despite having a couple of young quarterbacks in-house with Wilson & White, Jets owner Woody Johnson has taken an aggressive stance, claiming he will acquire a veteran signal-caller in 2023 if he must.

The Jets obviously have an impressive slew of young talent and very well could boast both Offensive and Defensive ROY winners (Garrett Wilson/Breece Hall, Sauce Gardner), so you can’t blame them for acting with urgency. Carr will be entering his 10th season in the NFL, and despite having a down year in 2022, he still ranked in the top-half of the league in passing yardage, touchdowns thrown, and total completions. Rumor has it that the Jets are also eyeing free agent Jimmy Garoppolo who does have some familiarity with head coach Robert Saleh and his staff.

Still, despite Jimmy G’s impressive NFL start/win rate of .702, he has only started 57 games compared to Carr’s 142. Also, given everything DC4 endured on and off the field with Raider Nation, Derek Carr may just be a little better equipped to deal with the tenacious New York media.

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Raiders vs Patriots
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Indy has shown us over the past half-decade that they are keen on bringing in veteran quarterbacks in lieu of developing a young buck through the draft (they have sophomore QB Sam Ehlinger on the roster, but he had a rough go in 2022). Since Andrew Luck departed on them that fateful preseason game back in 2019, we have seen the Colts acquire and try Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan. Old Man Rivers (in his final NFL season) was the only one to get Indy into the postseason. Carr certainly fits the profile of the Colts’ track record, and may even have a little more juice left in the arm than any of the aforementioned QBs.

Carr would need to prioritize creating a thriving relationship with star WR Michael Pittman Jr., something Ryan was not able to do last season. But given the talent on Indy’s defense, they could be closer to contention than most realize. The wrinkle here, however, is the fact that the Colts have not officially declared a Head Coach for 2023.

Then, there’s the fact that they hold the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft and that GM Chris Ballard would be willing to move up from there if there’s a fit. Yet, one thing working in favor of a Derek Carr trade is that this upcoming class is not the strongest in the quarterback department.

 

NFC

 

Washington Commanders

 

Raiders vs Saints
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For these two potential landing spots in the NFC, I am banking a little more on Carr’s past than his hypothetical future.

As Raider Nation is well aware, Carr’s most efficient/successful season in the NFL came back in 2016 under HC Jack Del Rio, who has been the DC in Washington since being fired in Oakland. If Carr hadn’t broken his leg in Week 15, he legitimately had a shot at the MVP that year. Perhaps, Del Rio can persuade “Riverboat” Ron to take a shot on a Derek Carr trade, all three of whom have ties to Northern California. Maybe that’s their icebreaker.

Anyone who witnessed Washington football this year knows that their performances varied wildly. In some games, QB Taylor Heinicke looked dynamic and fiery, while in others, he looked lost and overwhelmed. With a solid defense and shifty skill group on an offense featuring “Scary” Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Brian Robinson Jr., the right quarterback could certainly get this group over the hump of 8-8-1.

The wrinkle here (yes, there is almost always a wrinkle) is the fact that Las Vegas and Washington may not want to do mutual business after one franchise’s investigation curiously led to negative ramifications for the other (out of thousands of emails, no less). Still, if the shoe fits…

 

New Orleans Saints

 

Raiders
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There seems to be a growing contingent of believers who see Derek Carr traded to the Bayou. Is it really possible that Carr goes from Raider Nation to “Who Dat Nation?”

The Saints have not had an answer at quarterback since Drew Brees went off into the wind, and like other teams mentioned here, New Orleans has an impressive cast of players on both sides of the ball. Now that they can officially put Sean Payton behind them, perhaps they grab a bridge QB that is familiar with the current regime. 

UPDATE:  As first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL, the Raiders have given Derek Carr official permission to meet with the Saints in New Orleans on Wednesday, Feb. 8th. Carr, his representatives, and Saints officials met and toured the Saints’ facility. They also were talking about a potential contract restructuring that is needed in part to facilitate any trade.

Of course, Derek Carr came into the NFL under Dennis Allen, who has been HC in NOLA for a few seasons now. According to Carr before the Raiders-Saints matchup in 2022, he and Allen still and have always kept in touch (despite not lasting a full season together). But even back in 2014, Allen had enough faith to ride with a rookie Derek Carr under center.

Don’t be surprised if they roll the dice on someone to win now. Remember, both Nevada and Louisiana are major gambling states. Given the NFC South’s current competition and Tom Brady’s recent retirement, Who Dat could be poised for a playoff run next year. A Derek Carr trade just may be the move to push them over the edge in a weak division.

 

HONORABLE MENTION: I would also NOT be shocked if Carr is traded to Tampa Bay or Houston. Next year, the easiest paths to the postseason will be through the South.

 

After nine seasons together, the Raiders are looking to trade Derek Carr. The 2014 second-round draft pick from Fresno State will leave with essentially all of the franchise’s major passing records and has only ever worn Silver & Black. So, where will he head next?

 

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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Instagram @gps_onthemic

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Photography by TQ for Franchise Sports Media