At 28 years old, Derek Carr is an enigma of a quarterback. While he has made three Pro Bowls (2015-2017) and thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, he is still prone to rookie-like mistakes, such as in Week 14 this season against the Titans when he threw the ball away under pressure...on fourth down.
With the Raiders rumored to be lusting after free agent Tom Brady, Carr's days as a Raider may be numbered. Whichever team takes him on will have to absorb a $20 million cap hit for each of the next three seasons, as the Raiders have him signed through 2022. Who would do that? Let's find out.
Rumors of a move to Chicago gained serious traction after Carr posted this Instagram photo where he posed with Chicago Bears linebacker - and former teammate - Khalil Mack. The Raiders traded Mack to Chicago just before the 2019 season.
Carr's older brother, David, now working for NFL Network, dismissed the post as just Derek having fun. “His son’s favorite movie is Trolls. He’s just having fun. It’s the offseason."
Still, the idea is worth looking into. The Bears are coming off a disappointing season with Mitch Trubisky struggling through much of the season. While Trubisky improved in the second half of the regular season, it wasn't enough to guide the Bears into the playoffs. Chicago has no first-round pick in the upcoming draft, as they've traded it to the Raiders in the aforementioned Mack deal, so top quarterback talent such as Justin Herbert and Jake Fromm will be out of reach.
Another team in the Midwest is going through an uncertain QB situation. The Indianapolis Colts got off to a good start with Jacoby Brissett under center, but flamed out down the stretch, losing seven of their last nine to miss the playoffs. After the season concluded, general manager Chris Ballard said that "the jury is still out" on Brissett as their long-term starter.
While the Colts are said to be front-runners for free agent Philip Rivers, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Carr would be a longer-term solution as the replacement for Andrew Luck.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers could also land Rivers, but should that fail, Carr would be a sensible second option to replace the flashy but wildly inconsistent Jameis Winston.
Despite having struggles of his own in 2019, Carr did throw for a career high completion percentage of 70.4%, which is the kind of consistency that Arians has desperately needed. While Carr is not even half of the flashy playmaker or risk-taker that Winston is, that has naturally led to fewer mistakes - only eight interceptions in 2019 compared to Winston's 30.