What was supposed to be a playoff season has quickly turned into a disaster for the Las Vegas Raiders. The team is 2-6 and quickly falling out of the playoff race. Anything is possible but it seems like the season is essentially over before they’ve even hit the halfway mark.
While the defense has been a disaster and the offensive line is inconsistent, the most disappointing player has been quarterback Derek Carr. He was supposed to take a leap this season with the Raiders acquiring five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams. That just hasn’t been the case. He’s 16th in the NFL in passing yards, 14th in touchdown passes and 17th in quarterback rating. There are certainly worse quarterbacks but the belief was that Carr was at least top-10 in the league. He has not been playing like a top-10 quarterback.
There are those who believe that the struggles are more on the Raiders than Carr. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd has consistently been a defender of the quarterback. He believes that there are at least two teams in the NFL that would trade for Carr if he became available.
“There’s a market for Derek Carr. What would the Jets do for Derek Carr?” Cowherd asked on “The Herd.” “Robert Saleh is not going to go into Year 3 with Zach Wilson if they continue to manage around him.
“Look at the Saints. They’re a mess at quarterback … and it’s a good roster. How much better would they be with Derek Carr? You don’t think they’ll give up picks?”
Would Carr Want to Be Traded to Saints or Jets?
If the Raiders actually wanted to trade Carr, it would be complicated. He was given a no-trade clause on the contract extension the team gave him this offseason. That means that he won’t be traded if he doesn’t want to be. He’s consistently stated that he’d rather retire than play for another team so he would have to sour on Las Vegas in the coming months.
The Saints and Jets could be interesting if the Raiders decide they don’t want to move forward with him. New Orleans is loaded with wide receiver talent. Rookie Chris Olave looks like a stud, Alvin Kamara is a top-10 running back and if Michael Thomas can get healthy, he’s one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. The Jets have turned things around this season and looks to be a quarterback away from being contenders. Being able to play with a good defense would have to be appealing to him. It’s still hard to imagine him playing for another team but he’d have to consider the Jets or the Saints if the Raiders make it clear they don’t want him back.
Raiders May Have No Choice but to Stick With Carr
Head coach Josh McDaniels knows how difficult it is to find a quarterback. The Raiders are 2-6 and would have a top-five pick if the season ended now but it’s unlikely they finished the season with a top-five pick. Getting one of the top quarterback prospects without a top-five pick isn’t easy.
The Raiders’ best bet would be to draft a raw player with a ton of upside in later rounds and hope that he can develop behind Carr. That would keep the veteran around for at least next season and probably the season after that. Things would have to go really poorly in the second half of the season for the Raiders to seriously consider moving Carr.