Raiders Take Key Step Toward Potential Blockbuster Trade: Report

josh mcdaniels dave ziegler

Getty Josh McDaniels & Dave Ziegler of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Much has been made regarding the fact that the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t allowed Derek Carr to talk to other teams amid trade rumors. However, that chatter can come to an end. The team has officially let Carr start speaking with potentially interested teams.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback has plans to visit the New Orleans Saints to discuss how a trade might work.

This is the first known visit Carr is having with another team. This news comes not long after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders were allowing the quarterback to speak to teams that Las Vegas has agreed on trade compensation with. The problem with that report was that the Raiders hadn’t agreed with any team on trade compensation. Rapoport noted that “no trade is imminent,” but a subsequent report from Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal revealed that the two teams have agreed on compensation.

Las Vegas is running out of time to make a move on Carr so it makes sense to start letting him speak to other teams now. The worst that can happen is that they have to cut him before February 15 but allowing him to see what’s out there can help them pull off a trade.

Saints Make a Lot of Sense for Carr

There will likely be other teams that make a run at Carr in the coming weeks but it’ll be difficult for them to compete with what the Saints can offer the quarterback. Head coach Dennis Allen was Carr’s coach during his rookie season with the Raiders. Though they weren’t on a team together for long, there’s still respect between the two.

The Saints have a very good defense and allowed the fifth-least yards per game in 2022 despite a rough start to the year. On offense, they have an elite running back in Alvin Kamara and an exciting young wide receiver in Chris Olave. That’s not to mention Michael Thomas who was once considered among the best wide receivers in the NFL before he got bit by the injury bug. He could return to form with a proven quarterback back on the team.

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin believes that the Saints are one of the best fits with Carr.

“Dennis Allen may not be a universally heralded coach, but Carr knows and respects him from their brief time together with the Raiders, back in 2014,” Benjamin wrote. “Once again, blocking could be a concern. The Saints are also lacking in excess resources, as per usual. But Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave are premium weapons when healthy, Allen has proven he can still guide an elite defense, and the NFC South should be up for grabs.”

What Could Saints Offer for Carr?

The Saints didn’t have a first-round pick this year until the recent trade of Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos. They now hold the No. 29 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. They also still have their second-round pick. Parting with one of those for a franchise quarterback seems fair.

The problem the Raiders face is that Carr can just wait until he’s cut and sign with the Saints. New Orleans might prefer to avoid having the quarterback go to free agency and throw a third-round pick Las Vegas’ way to ensure that doesn’t happen. A third-round pick might be the ceiling for what the Raiders can get for Carr.

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