Three Derek Carr Trade Destinations

Derek Carr
Derek Carr / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Derek Carr's time with the Las Vegas Raiders appears to be coming to an ungainly end. Carr has struggled under Josh McDaniels this season (as did most Raiders, to be fair) and only managed to lead the team to six wins through 15 games. Earlier this week, Carr got benched for Jarrett Stidham as the franchise effectively threw in the towel on 2022.

On Sunday, Ian Rapoport reported that the Raiders would be exploring trade options for their Pro Bowl quarterback.

As Rapoport notes, the Raiders need to do something with Carr by the third day after the Super Bowl to avoid paying his $30 million base salary. Carr also has a no-trade clause so Las Vegas cannot simply sell him off to the highest bidder.

Other teams are aware of the time crunch Las Vegas is facing and thus may decline to engage in trade talks entirely, forcing the Raiders to release Carr if they don't want to pay him. But if there is a franchise out there convinced that Carr got the short end of the stick amidst a terrible season in Vegas and believes he can be the answer for the duration of his three-year, $150 million extension that kicks in come 2023, then they will trade for him.

So who could go after Carr on the trade market?

New York Jets

The Jets will be at the top of pretty much any list involving a potential quarterback to be acquired this offseason. Robert Saleh has proven himself a quality coach and built an elite defense in a very short amount of time, a defense stacked with cornerstones who haven't even hit their primes yet. Garrett Wilson is the best rookie WR in Jets history. The only issue is under center. The team reportedly isn't going to ditch Zach Wilson this offseason but they should still leap at the opportunity to upgrade. Carr is much better than Mike White. He is good enough to elevate the Jets to contender status instantly. Carr is far from a perfect quarterback but all New York needs is a guy who can hit the open man and take care of the football. He's struggled on the latter front this year but has never had a problem with the former. The Jets should be on the phone with Las Vegas right now about a Carr trade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs might need a new quarterback next year if Tom Brady leaves, either via retirement or to play football elsewhere. The roster is loaded with veteran players on big contracts who are ready to win now. Tampa probably does not have much interest in a prolonged rebuild as a result. Getting Carr would help capitalize on the talent currently in the building, especially in a noncompetitive NFC South. While the Bucs have a lot of other issues to fix before they can be considered championship contenders again, those issues would be exacerbated by the lack of a decent QB under center. Getting Carr would make a bounceback year much easier to imagine and he could do good work with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Not a championship-level move but far from the downgrade Tampa Bay could suffer if Brady really does leave.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders have been unwilling passengers on the QB carousel for a few years now and Carr would simply be another patchwork attempt to fix what has been a long-term problem in Washington. However! The franchise can move on from Carson Wentz with no cap penalty after this season. They clearly do not believe in the long-term talents of Taylor Heinicke given he got benched again. They have the kind of pieces on both sides of the ball to win football games immediately. To reiterate, going after Carr as the latest band-aid is not a very smart long-term play but the Commanders won't have a high enough pick to land an elite QB prospect in the draft this year and he is better than pretty much all the alternatives. It would not be shocking at all to see Washington enter into the Carr sweepstakes.