The quarterback carousel could get wild this offseason and the Las Vegas Raiders may be at the center of it. The team is still in the playoff race but if they don’t make it, they may want to make a change at quarterback. That would make Derek Carr one of the most sought-after quarterbacks on the market.
He hasn’t had the best season but he’s good enough to lead a good roster to the playoffs. The Raiders have rarely had a good roster during his time there so it’s hard to know what his ceiling could be with the right team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be an interesting team to watch. Tom Brady will likely retire or seek employment with a different team once the year is over. They still have really good pieces all over the roster. Pro Football Focus pitched a trade that sees Tampa Bay send the Raiders a first and third-round pick in next year’s draft for Carr:
Carr’s contract was structured in a way that provides an out for Las Vegas here, as very little money was tied up in prorated bonuses. Furthermore, a three-year deal for less than $40 million per year could also be enticing enough to potential suitors with no need to immediately revisit the contract just one year after Carr signed.
It seems unlikely that the Raiders would trade for Carr’s good friend in wide receiver Davante Adams and then immediately move on, but anything can happen with head coach Josh McDaniels at the helm. While the team has spoken about the steep learning curve of the McDaniels offense, and despite injuries to tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, Carr has not been good enough.
Why Would Bucs Want to Make Trade?
A first and third-round pick would certainly be interesting to the Raiders if they are going to trade Carr. That would help them find their eventual replacement. From the Buccaneers’ point of view, that might be a steep price to pay for a quarterback who has never won a playoff game. Pro Football Focus explained why this trade would make sense for them:
For Tampa Bay, we’re of course operating under the assumption that Tom Brady will either step away from the game altogether or perhaps push to play elsewhere (San Francisco?). Tampa has a tough road ahead in figuring out their salary cap situation but is too talented to just let Kyle Trask step in as the starter.
Carr would be the best quarterback in the NFC South as opposed to third place at best in the AFC West, and the Buccaneers can make a few more runs in a weak NFC conference before more fully turning over this roster.
Who Would Replace Carr?
It would not be wise for the Raiders to go into 2023 with plans of starting a rookie quarterback. Their record is too good to land in the top five picks, which will make it difficult to select one of the top prospects. The roster has too much veteran talent right now to fully embrace a rebuild. If the Raiders trade Carr, they need to have a replacement in mind.
Tom Brady would be the obvious choice due to his connections to Josh McDaniels. Jimmy Garoppolo would also fall into that category. However, is either of them a clear upgrade over Carr? Brady is going to be 46 and Garoppolo can’t stay healthy for a whole season. There’s no way to definitively say that either is better than Carr. That’s something the Raiders need to consider before making a move.