If you’ve been following Las Vegas Raiders‘ offseason, you’ve probably heard a million rumors linking the team to Tom Brady. The New England Patriots quarterback is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career and the Raiders have reported interest. However, he’s not the only for NFL MVP that might be available for the silver and black.
Cam Newton is fresh off his worst season with the Carolina Panthers since entering the NFL. Ron Rivera is no longer his head coach and there’s a lot of change happening in Carolina. That could lead to the team looking to move on from the 2015 NFL MVP. If they do decide to trade him, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicts that he could be had for a Raiders third-round pick:
“If the Raiders want a star for their new city, they can just hold on to their two first-round picks and trade a later pick to get their guy. Newton has box-office appeal, and his upside is literally as league MVP. Jon Gruden might prefer that upside in 2020 to another season with Derek Carr. Vegas also has two third-round picks.”
The Raiders have three third-round picks in total, so giving up one really wouldn’t set the team back in the draft.
Derek Carr to Titans
If Las Vegas does pull off a trade for Newton, that means they have to do something with Derek Carr. Barnwell suggests that the team release the quarterback and he’ll go off to sign with the Tennessee Titans:
“The Titans made a move last year to add an unexciting veteran backup for their starter and landed on Ryan Tannehill, who had a career season. While they re-sign Tannehill, his injury history should lead general manager Jon Robinson to sign another veteran backup, with Carr, who gets cut by Las Vegas, fitting the bill.”
Now, this scenario seems very unlikely if the Titans keep Tannehill. There are teams that would very likely bring Carr in as a starter. There’s no way he’s going to Tennesee to be a backup. Just like Newton, Carr is coming off a few subpar years, but his ceiling is also that of a potential NFL MVP. If the Raiders decide to move on from him, they should at least try to get a second or third-round pick in return.
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Carr vs. Newton
If we were fresh off the 2015 season, Newton clearly has the edge over Carr. However, since 2016, Carr’s numbers have been better and he’s won more games. An argument could be made for the Raiders taking Brady over Carr because Brady is a winner. It remains to be seen if Newton can still be a winner and he also carries an injury history that Carr does not.
In terms of contract situation, both quarterbacks almost have the same cap hit, according to Sportrac, so there’s no upside there. If we’re living in a “what have you done for me lately” kind of world, then there’s no indication Newton will be any more effective than Carr has been. If the Raiders traded for Newton it just seems like making a move for the sake of making a move. If the team truly doesn’t believe that Carr is the quarterback of the future, they should draft a player early and let him compete for the starting gig.