Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will soon hit NFL free agency. The four-time Pro Bowler informed the Raiders that he will not accept a trade to any other team in the NFL. With a full no-trade clause and north of $40 million set to be guaranteed on Feb. 15, Vegas is going to have to release the veteran.
This sets things up well for Carr to cash in big time once he does hit the open market. First off, he’ll be free to sign with any team immediately. This gives Carr a head start over other impending free agents.
Despite his struggles under Josh McDaniels a season ago, Carr has a track record of success. There’s going to be a strong market for his services. Here, we look at five ideal landing spots for the veteran signal caller.
Tennessee Titans bring in Pro Bowl quarterback
Veteran Ryan Tannehill is slated to count a whopping $36.6 million against the salary cap in 2023. If Tennessee were to designate the regressed signal-caller a post-June 1 cut, the team would save a whopping $27 million against said cap. Given how he’s performed over the past couple years, it’s safe to say that this is going to happen.
- Ryan Tannehill stats (2021-22): 66.5% completion, 6,270 yards, 34 TD, 20 INT, 90.5 QB rating
New Titans general manager Ran Carthon will want to get his own guy under center. A third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Malik Willis proved he was not the guy as a rookie. The youngster threw zero touchdowns compared to three interceptions. In fact, head coach Mike Vrabel opted to play veteran journeyman Joshua Dobbs under center a week after signing him off the practice squad rather than trot Willis out there.
Tennessee will have a need at quarterback. Carr makes the most sense. Sometimes, it really is that simple.
Related: Ranking NFL quarterbacks in 2023
New England Patriots add Derek Carr to the mix
We’ve read the reports that young quarterback Mac Jones is in head coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse. You never want to be in bad standing when it comes to Belichick, especially at the all-important quarterback position. There’s now a decent chance that New England will look in a different direction at quarterback during the offseason.
As the second-oldest head coach in the NFL, Belichick doesn’t want to go into a full-scale rebuild. Acquiring a capable veteran stopgap while figuring out the long-term plans later makes the most sense for these Pats. Carr has proven over and over again that he can handle that role.
Frank Reich gets his guy with the Carolina Panthers
Carolina will turn over pretty much every stone to find a capable starting quarterback after it hired Frank Reich earlier in the calendar year. Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield are slated to become free agents. Neither has proven himself as a starter-caliber quarterback in today’s NFL. The same thing can’t be said about Mr. Carr.
- Derek Carr stats: 65% completion, 35,222 yards, 217 TD, 99 INT
Dating back to his days as the then-San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator, Reich has liked a certain type of quarterback. That is to say, prototypical signal callers such as Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. There’s no reason to believe that’s going to change in Carolina. It makes Carr a perfect fit in that he can simply run Reich’s offense with the Panthers boasting one of the better young defenses in the league.
Washington Commanders land Derek Carr in Maryland
There’s a lot of moving parts in Maryland right now. Washington is all but guaranteed to release struggling veteran Carson Wentz at some point here soon. Veteran journeyman Taylor Heinicke is also slated to hit free agency and is unlikely to be back with the Commanders.
It’s led to head coach Ron Rivera declaring 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell as Washington’s QB1 heading into the offseason program. Rivera also just recently claimed that Washington isn’t going to exhaust a ton of capital on a quarterback.
“I think the biggest thing is we have to find a guy to come in that’s going to compete, but in terms of finding a guy you’re going to have to spend a lot of capital on, no. We’re not looking for a guy we’ve got to spend a lot of capital on,” Rivera on Commanders’ plan at quarterback.
It’s safe to say that Rivera is talking about the potential of pulling off a blockbuster trade after Washington yielded multiple draft picks to acquire Wentz last offseason. If Carr can come in at roughly $30-$35 million without requiring a trade, Washington will have to think long and hard about the possibility.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
New York Jets land Zach Wilson replacement
New York is being linked to four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers on a near never-ending loop. It still seems to be somewhat of an awkward fit given where Rodgers is in his career and the fact that he has not even committed to playing next season.
Carr would be a completely different monster for Robert Saleh’s squad. First off, he wouldn’t cost multiple first-round picks in a blockbuster trade like Rodgers would. Secondly, Carr wouldn’t come to Jersey with the same type of baggage Rodgers has.
New York is capable of contending with a solid quarterback under center. Unfortunately, Zach Wilson has not proven to be that guy in the two seasons since New York made him the No. 2 overall pick. With the talent these Jets have on offense, Derek Carr would absolutely be an ideal fit.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.