The NFL QB rumor mill keeps on churning, with Las Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr as the latest name to surface as a potential trade candidate.
Following the 2020 season, it appeared as if the Raiders would stick with Carr going forward, but with the sudden availability of Deshaun Watson, the Raiders plan to field calls from teams about Carr’s availability, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report.
The report suggests the Raiders want two first-round picks in exchange for Carr, in order to flip those picks for Watson.
That may seem like a lot, but when you look at the fact that Matthew Stafford netted the Lions two firsts, a third and Jared Goff, it’s not unreasonable to think that Carr, coming off a career year, would come at a similar price.
The two quarterbacks had almost identical numbers last season and Carr is three years younger at 29. He’s also a $22 million cap hit next season and $19 million in 20221, per overthecap, a bargain for a quarterback of his age and ability.
In a hot quarterback market, many teams may look to pay the price for a veteran quarterback who led the seventh-best passing offense, via yards per game, last season.
Mitchell Trubisky is a free agent and Nick Foles cannot stay healthy, so the Bears are likely to be looking for a quarterback this offseason. Carr is an instant upgrade over either of those options
The Bears may be willing to go the distance with two first round picks, too. Chicago is picking 20th this year and would not be able to select one of the top QBs in the draft. Parting with the second first rounder may be a tough choice, but the Bears are already a playoff team. Making the move from Carr would improve the offense at the most important position.
Carr has never made the playoffs in his career, but he’s also lacked a team that has a good defense. The Raiders went 8-8 last season with the 30th-ranked defense in the league. The Bears are a significant upgrade in that department and would become a much more complete team with the addition of Carr.
New England Patriots
The Patriots learned what life was like without Tom Brady this past season, going 7-9 and finishing third in the AFC East. The Cam Newton experiment did not work out and it is hard to see the Patriots bringing him back.
Carr, on the other hand, is much less of a gamble than Newton. The 29-year-old has missed one game in his seven-year career and has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in each of his last three seasons.
The Patriots would be right back in the thick of the AFC East race with Carr, although it will cost them the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, and possibly next year’s first rounder as well. However, the 15th pick may be the highest possible pick the Raiders could get from potential suitors.
Washington Football Team
Washington had its own QB carousel in 2020 and needs to find one to settle down with for next season. They barely won the NFC East at 7-9, but adding a veteran, dependable quarterback would help take Washington to the next level. Carr would, arguably, be the best quarterback in the division – pending a healthy Dak Prescott return.
WFT holds the 19th overall pick in the draft, but they also have two third rounders this year if they want to sweeten the pot. That said, the Football Team was reportedly interested in Stafford but was unwilling to part with the second first rounder in the Lions’ asking price.
If Washington views Carr as equal to or less than Stafford, it may be hard to envision them to go the distance on the Raiders QB.
The Colts are one of the most intriguing quarterback-needy teams in the league. With the retirement of Philip Rivers, the Colts are a bonafide playoff contender that just needs a quarterback.
Like Washington, Indianapolis was reportedly in on Stafford but reports indicate they were also not willing to part with a second first-round pick. Carr on the Colts though would be fun to imagine. The QB would be behind perhaps the best offensive line in the game and under the tutelage of head coach Frank Reich.
New Orleans Saints
Sean Payton has talked up the world when it comes to Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, but if Derek Carr is available the Saints should not necessarily be counted out just yet.
With Drew Brees likely retiring, the Saints will need a quarterback capable of leading the team around it to the playoffs. While Carr has never been in the playoffs, he has the most experience and reliability of the three aforementioned QBs.
The question is whether or not the Saints would be willing to part with their draft picks for Carr.
While the reports of Carr’s availability is for the Raiders to position themselves to make a run at Watson, what if they just include Carr in a deal of their own? If the Raiders cannot find a suitor for Carr, perhaps they go straight to the Texans to see what it would take if they included Carr in a package for Watson?
It would mean giving up at least two first rounders and possibly more draft capital and maybe even a player. It is probably the unlikeliest of the aforementioned scenarios, but the Texans will need a quarterback once Watson is dealt and including Carr would solve that dilemma.