The NFL didn’t do the Las Vegas Raiders any favors when they named Derek Carr to the Pro Bowl. The team has already decided to move on and is hoping to trade him. The Pro Bowl no longer features players suiting up in pads and hitting each other but freak injuries could always happen.
If Carr is seriously injured during the Pro Bowl flag football game on Sunday, the Raiders would have to guarantee his contract. That’s not something the team is going to feel comfortable with but they can’t stop Carr from playing. However, they could remove any risk of having to pay altogether. The Raiders are hard at work trying to trade the quarterback but it’s proving difficult considering they have little leverage. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there is a belief around the NFL that Las Vegas could cut Carr much sooner than anybody expected.
“A league exec openly wondered this week whether the Raiders would cut Derek Carr before he participates in the Pro Bowl flag football game Sunday, since an injury there could trigger his $40.4 million guarantee early,” Fowler wrote. “The money, based on 2023-24 salary, officially locks in Feb. 15. Carr said Thursday night he wasn’t going to extend that trigger date to give Vegas more time.”
There’s no guarantee the Raiders will be able to trade Carr if they wait until the February 15 deadline so there’s an argument that cutting him right now might be the most logical move. Fowler also believes that teams will want to change the quarterback’s contract.
“Pro Bowl aside, I get the sense that some teams will want to rework his deal to facilitate a trade, possibly spreading out that guarantee over multiple years,” Fowler wrote. “The Raiders are trying to control the trade and haven’t given Carr (who has a no-trade clause) permission to shop his services.”
Saints Could Be Eyeing Carr
With Tom Brady retiring, there’s one less veteran quarterback available. That will help Carr’s value. If Aaron Rodgers stays with the Green Bay Packers, Carr will probably be the best non-rookie quarterback available this offseason. There are several teams that could use a quarterback like Carr but Fowler is hearing there’s one team to keep an eye on.
“Watch for the New Orleans Saints here,” Fowler wrote. “A Carr-Saints connection was buzzing a bit in Mobile, and they could be a suitor. New Orleans has a first- and second-round pick from the Sean Payton deal, and head coach Dennis Allen coached Carr during his rookie year in Oakland.”
Saints Make Sense for Carr
Carr has said he wants to go to a stable situation. The Saints have been one of the most stable franchises in the NFL over the past decade. Sean Payton may no longer be there but Carr has spoken highly about Dennis Allen in the past. Wide receiver Chris Olave looked really good in his rookie season and should be even better with a quarterback like Carr throwing him the ball.
The Saints also have a very good defense. They allowed the fifth-least yards per game in 2022. They likely would’ve been a playoff team if it wasn’t for subpar quarterback play. Plus, New Orleans is a warm weather city and the Saints play in a dome. It could be one of the top landing spots for Carr if he has his pick.