The Las Vegas Raiders have started the process that will lead to Derek Carr’s departure from the organization after an up-and-down nine-season marriage between the two sides.
Las Vegas benched the three-time Pro Bowler in Week 16, only to see him walk away from the team before he could be seen holding a clipboard while healthy on Sundays. Following the Raiders’ ugly 6-11 season, Carr said his goodbyes to the organization and its fan base earlier this week.
Whether the quarterback is traded or released, Carr will be calling another city home in 2023. He made that clear in his emotional message to Raider nation. The 31-year-old Pro Bowler will likely be seen as a stopgap option for multiple teams looking to add a starting-caliber quarterback to the mix in 2023.
4 ideal Derek Carr landing spots with Raiders tenure over
The market in the offseason won’t be limited, whether it’s via NFL free agency or in a trade. With the team needing to make a decision on how they move on from Derek Carr by Feb. 15, we take a look at four likely landing spots in the near future.
New England Patriots
Coming off a disappointing season in their own right, the Patriots are not locked into incumbent QB Mac Jones. That was made clear after he struggled big time as a sophomore in 2022.
This past season saw Jones throw a mere 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 14 appearances. He displayed immaturity on the field at times and regressed from a stellar rookie campaign. While Carr is far from perfect, he is a proven talent in the NFL and has top-10 talent when he is on.
- Derek Carr stats (2022): 61% completion, 3,522 yards, 24 TD, 14 INT, 86.3 QB rating
There’s a scenario where New England could flip Jones for Carr in a trade. Remember, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were with the Pats when they selected Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He excelled with McDaniels calling plays in New England as a rookie and the Raiders could view him as a legitimate long-term answer at QB.
New York Jets
The entire NFL world is well aware of the fact that the New York Jets are in desperate need of a quarterback upgrade. Former first-round pick Zach Wilson has evolved into a legitimate draft bust and popular backup Mike White is not a serious answer to the starter hole on the depth chart. Hate him or love him, Derek Carr would be a major upgrade for New York.
Jets owner Woody Johnson admitted recently he would be willing to spend big money for a veteran starter. However, the $40 million coming to Carr if he is traded may be too rich for his blood. Nevertheless, they could outbid other teams in free agency and offer up some high-upside young skills players to play with in 2022 first and second-round picks Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall.
The Washington Commanders are a mess that still has a lot to be determined. They could have new owners before the start of the next season and head coach Ron Rivera is far from secure in his position. Carson Wentz also isn’t guaranteed to be back in 2023. Especially since the final years of his contract are not guaranteed.
Signing Derek Carr would very much be a Commanders type of move, however, this group does have a lot of talent and was in the playoff hunt late into the season. The three-time Pro Bowler still has prime years ahead of him and could easily lead an NFC East title run with the strong talent already in D.C.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are another team that could be a quarterback upgrade away from being a playoff team next season. And since they lack a first-round pick in this year’s QB-rich draft class they will need to improve the position with a veteran.
A trade may be a more likely route than outright signing Derek Carr, based on their current cap situation. Assuming Alvin Kamara is not included in a swap, Carr, Kamara, Michael Thomas, and fast-rising receiver Chris Olave have all the makings to be a dynamic unit in New Orleans and certainly will compete for an NFC South title in 2023.