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Las Vegas Raiders: Why Derek Carr’s visit with Saints can generate more trade buzz

Derek Carr

Up until Tuesday, we didn’t hear much about a potential trade for Derek Carr, which led to doubt that a team would make a serious attempt to acquire him from the Las Vegas Raiders. Then the New Orleans Saints spiced up the discussion. With one team doing its due diligence on Carr, another club may feel the pressure to make a viable offer.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints will meet with Carr on Wednesday.

Though Rapoport makes it clear that New Orleans isn’t an imminent trade destination for Carr, Las Vegas allowed him permission to visit, which means the Saints have made a proposal that the Raiders would accept if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal confirmed based on the conditions that the team placed on potential negotiations.

Carr has a past history with Saints head coach Dennis Allen, who served as his first NFL head coach in 2014. Going into the 2023 offseason, New Orleans has two quarterbacks under contract in Jameis Winston and Jake Luton; Andy Dalton is set to become a free agent.

In case you’re wondering how the Saints can entertain the thought of acquiring Carr while $60.4 million over the cap threshold, remember, they’re comfortable restructuring deals to clear cap space. Last offseason, the Saints moved $110 million into future charges in case they wanted to make a run at quarterback Deshaun Watson:

If the Saints want to strike a deal with the Raiders, they’ll probably have to maneuver the cap because according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Carr might not be willing to rework his contract, which carries $40.4 million in guarantees over the next two years.

While Carr’s contract could present a potential snag in any possible trade, Fowler did point out that the Raiders might be willing to accept a third-round pick in return for the quarterback, which makes sense when you consider the new team would add a sizable deal on its books.

Saints’ interest in Derek Carr can create urgency

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless, Carr’s visit with the Saints can spur action from other quarterback-needy teams.

Why is that?

Carr may not make it to the free-agent market. General managers who planned to wait for him to test free agency could miss out completely if New Orleans closes out on a trade deal within a week. So, other clubs should jump into the trade discussion just to give Carr something to think about before he makes a decision.

If the Saints agree to acquire Carr, teams would have to turn to Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s recovering from a broken foot, Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold in free agency. Remember, the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks will attempt to retain Daniel Jones and Geno Smith, respectively.

As for Aaron Rodgers, he’s going on a four-day “darkness retreat” while contemplating his future. Furthermore, ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes the Green Bay Packers will move him to the AFC if they trade the four-time league MVP. So, NFC South clubs and the Washington Commanders may want to take a look at Carr on a visit with the Saints in a position to acquire him with his approval.

Jets should schedule a meeting with Derek Carr

NFL, Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Among the potential suitors for Carr, other than New Orleans, the New York Jets should line up a meeting with him after his visit with Saints brass.

Per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the Jets want a veteran quarterback as an upgrade over Zach Wilson.

“The Jets remain poised to acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason to take over the starting job, but they’re still assessing their plan of attack,” Howe wrote. “The names to watch are Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr.”

The Jets shouldn’t sit on their hands and wait for Rodgers if they see Carr as a viable option. While they shouldn’t rush to acquire the Raiders signal-caller, general manager Joe Douglas could at least sell why New York is a good landing spot for him. If successful, Carr may prefer the Jets over the Saints.

Once Rodgers returns from his “darkness retreat,” the Green Bay Packers may decide to keep him for another season. What if he chooses to retire or tells the team that he’s willing to part ways but not go to New York? Gang Green would then have to compete with several quarterback-needy teams for Garoppolo, who’s missed 18 games over the past three seasons.

The Jets have a playoff-ready roster, and they should be proactive in their approach to upgrade at the most important position. If Douglas is serious about Carr as an option, he should at least sit down with the quarterback with the threat of New Orleans swiping him off the quarterback carousel.

Maurice Moton covers the Raiders for Sportsnaut. You can follow him on Twitter at @MoeMoton.

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