Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will be the first domino to fall in the 2023 quarterback carousel and multiple teams are reportedly lining up to pursue a trade in early February.
Carr, the 36th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, finished the 2022 season away from the team after starting 142 games with the Raiders. Before Las Vegas can fully pursue its plans to upgrade at the position for the 2023 season, it needs to move off Carr’s contract.
Signed to a lucrative contract extension before the 2022 season, the Raiders have until Feb. 15 to either trade or release the veteran quarterback. If Carr is still on the roster, $40.4 million in salary over the next two seasons becomes fully guaranteed.
- Derek Carr career stats: 91.8 QB rating, 64.6% completion, 217-99 TD-INT, 63-79 record
While many initially expected Las Vegas to release Carr, the number of teams in the market for stability at quarterback has changed things. Las Vegas now anticipates finding a trade partner in February and a deal could come together around the Super Bowl.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Carr has started doing his homework on potential NFL teams interested in acquiring him. Holding a no-trade clause, allowing him to block any deal, many around the league expect the New Orleans Saints, Washington Commanders and New York Jets to all make an inquiry with Las Vegas.
“Teams I talked to expect a variation of the Saints, the Commanders, the Jets to all inquire and I’m told some teams have already made some early initial calls to the Raiders.”
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on NFL teams interested in Derek Carr
Evaluating the best fit for Derek Carr
While the Jets are in the market for a quarterback, ready to move on from Zach Wilson, Carr could prove to be a challenging fit. He would be joining a viable playoff contender that plays a majority of its games in December and January outdoors. For a player with a career 85.1 QB rating in December and 85.6 in January, it could be a poor fit.
- Derek Carr contract: $34.875 million cap hit (2023), $43.875 million cap hit (2024)
New Orleans stands out as an ideal landing spot for the three-time Pro Bowl selection. Heading into his age-32 season, Carr holds a career 44-23 TD-INT ratio with a 91.3 QB rating and 65.5% completion rate when playing in a dome.
The Saints are also in a position that prevents them from landing a high-end talent. Without a 2023 first-round pick and currently $50 million over the 2023 NFL salary cap, New Orleans needs to find an affordable option that provides stability.
Las Vegas would likely be required to cover a portion of Carr’s salary, with him set to be the ninth highest-paid quarterback in the NFL next season. With multiple teams expected to be in the mix, the Raiders might have enough leverage to land a Day 2 pick in exchange for Carr.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.