Proposed Trade Would Reunite Raiders’ $140 Million Star With Derek Carr on Saints

derek carr

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr.

Feelings are far less optimistic about the Las Vegas Raiders heading into the season than they were this time last year, leading at least one reporter to question star wide receiver Davante Adams’ commitment to stay long-term.

If Adams were to want out of Vegas, Bleacher Report suggested a hypothetical “firework” trade that would reunite him with former longtime teammate Derek Carr on the New Orleans Saints.

In his July 7 column on trades that would “transform the league,” Alex Ballantine proposed a deal in which the Raiders would send Adams, a three-time All-Pro, to the Saints for a 2024 first-round pick and 2025 third-round pick.

“The Saints have shown they have no problem pushing cap problems into the future every offseason. They have $14.3 million cap space to fit Adams’ cap number in the budget this year,” Ballentine wrote. “Creating a wide receiver trio of Adams, Chris Olave and Michael Thomas would immediately make them one of the most intriguing offenses in the league and give Carr more than he has had to work with in his entire career.”

At 30, Adams is still an elite receiver, leading the NFL last year with 14 receiving touchdowns. Olave, a Rookie of the Year candidate last year, heads into his second season with a 1,000-yard season already to his credit. And Thomas, 30, is looking to bounce back from three injury-plagued seasons after being the Offensive Player of the Year in 2019.

Carr, meanwhile, is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl season with the Raiders, having tossed 24 touchdowns against 14 interceptions.

Would the Trade Be Fair Value for Davante Adams?

Pro Football Focus ranked Adams as its No. 1 receiver heading in to 2023, ahead of up-and-coming star Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings and veteran Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins.

“The masses think Justin Jefferson is the best receiver in the NFL, but I see no white towel thrown in on Adams’ career,” Sam Manson wrote in a story published May 25. “Adams remains the king of receivers until somebody topples him.”

When the Raiders acquired Adams from the Green Bay Packers in March 2022, they sent their 2022 first and second-round picks and gave the wide receiver a five-year contract worth $140 million. A year later, under Ballentine’s proposal, the team would partially recoup on their investment by getting back a first-round pick and settling for a third-rounder.

Las Vegas Raiders Future in Rough Shape

In March 2022, Vic Tafur of The Athletic called the Raiders a Super Bowl contender. As of early July 2023, only seven teams have worse odds to win the Super Bowl this season, according to BetMGM.

The Raiders haven’t managed the team well in recent years. Despite having six first-round picks between 2019 and 2021, only running back Josh Jacobs remains on the team. The team has too many good players right now to be fully rebuilding, which makes it difficult for them to commit one way or the other. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus recently went through and ranked every team by their future salary cap situations. He had the Raiders all the way down at 31.

“The Raiders are pulling in two different directions from a roster construction standpoint, recouping a grand total of a compensatory third-round pick after moving on from quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Darren Waller in the same offseason,” Spielberger wrote. “Las Vegas is also dead last in active draft capital and has the fifth-oldest roster, so an incomplete group doesn’t seem to have a ton of upward mobility in the near future.”

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