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4 best offseason Derek Carr trade destinations

Derek Carr trade, Derek Carr landing spots

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is floated in NFL rumors every offseason, with the franchise seemingly always open to a blockbuster trade. With things going poorly in Las Vegas this season and an organizational reset looming, Carr could finally be moved this offseason.

While the Raiders sit at the bottom of the AFC West and are sliding further down the NFL standings, it’s largely not a reflection on Carr’s play. Once again, the veteran quarterback is playing at a high level despite the circumstances around him being disadvantageous for a passer.

But with Jon Gruden already gone and Mike Mayock’s status uncertain, Las Vegas needs to make changes this spring. Given Carr would be entering the last year of his deal, a change of scenery might be in everyone’s best interest.

With that in mind, let’s examine a few ideal Derek Carr trade landing spots.

Raiders, Cleveland Browns swap quarterbacks

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns might be realizing this season that there are just too many variables with Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback. He shows flashes of being a franchise-caliber quarterback, but the injuries, inconsistency and clashes with coaches are a real problem. Cleveland is in a win-now window and upgrading at quarterback could make all the difference.

  • Derek Carr stats (2021): 3,926 passing ayrds (2nd in NFL), 18-10 TD-INT ratio, 68.3% completion rate (5th), 54.4 QBR (11th)

Acquiring Carr, on a one-year contract, gives Cleveland significant flexibility. He instantly makes the offense significantly better and more consistent. If the defense and offensive line stay healthy, the Browns could realistically compete for a Super Bowl next year. As for the return, sending Mayfield, a 2022 second-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick should satisfy both teams.

Sean Payton lands a legitimate quarterback for Saints’ offense

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton almost certainly knows Taysom Hill isn’t a legitimate NFL quarterback. He can run effectively and makes for an exciting pairing with Alvin Kamara in a college-like offense, but that can’t be sustained over a full season. Given the Saints still hold playoff and Super Bowl aspirations, they will be in the 2022 quarterback market.

While New Orleans needs to navigate the 2022 NFL salary cap, Carr only carries a $19.877 million cap hit next season. It’s a bargain for a consistent top-12 quarterback who is making things happen for an offense with pedestrian playcalling and limited offensive weapons. Put Carr’s arm and accuracy in Payton’s scheme, with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, the Saints can compete with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Derek Carr traded to Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, the Ben Roethlisberger era is coming to an end. The Pittsburgh Steelers will launch a search for a new quarterback this spring and while the new face of the franchise might come from the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s even more incentive to acquire Carr.

Pittsburgh would adore Carr. Praised for his leadership and an intense passion for football, he represents everything the fans are looking for in the next face of the franchise. He’s also incredibly talented and the numbers prove it. According to Pro Football Focus, Carr has the fifth-highest passer rating (118.2) and the sixth-best PFF grade on play-action attempts. He’s also far better throwing in the intermedia area (93.6 PFF grade, 110.3 passer rating), 10-19 yards), than Roethlisberger (64.3 PFF, 91.7 passer rating).

The Steelers already have great weapons in Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth. Add Carr at quarterback and everything improves in 2022.

Carolina Panthers finally get it right

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rhule got it wrong twice at quarterback. First, Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract. A year later, the franchise realized its mistake and convinced itself that Sam Darnold just needed a change of scenery. Without 2022 second- and fourth-round picks, the Panthers are in the market for a quarterback once more.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023 – Lamar Jackson, and Deebo Samuel lead the charge

It’s time for Carolina to clean up its mess. The personnel, namely Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, are outstanding talents who can be among the NFL stat leaders with a great quarterback under center. The Panthers also have secondary options, including Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr. Carr might not be the marquee name owner David Tepper wants, but he’s an affordable quarterback who can unlock an offense that has wasted its talent for years.

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