Analyst Suggests Raiders Trade Starting QB to AFC Team

derek carr

Getty Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr.

Derek Carr was very close to heading into the offseason without any talk of a quarterback controversy. When the Las Vegas Raiders were 6-3, Carr was playing at a very high level, and it looked like the team was on their way to the playoffs. Since then, they’ve gone 1-4 and are pretty much out of the playoff race.

Carr hasn’t played poorly outside of the loss to the Atlanta Falcons. However, Marcus Mariota came in for an injured Carr against the Los Angeles Chargers and played very well. This has led some to believe that the Raiders might move on their longtime starter in favor of Mariota. Pro Football Focus went so far as to suggest the Raiders trade Carr to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick, a third-round pick and a future second-round pick:

This is exactly what the Indianapolis Colts could be looking for. Carr could do exactly what Philip Rivers has done this season — stand behind an elite offensive line and get the ball out quick to playmakers — but with the added benefit of Carr’s mobility.

The Colts traded away the 13th overall pick in 2019 for DeForest Buckner, so perhaps they don’t want to trade away first round picks in consecutive years, but they have a window here with this roster after Andrew Luck shocked the world with his retirement. Rivers has looked good the last month or so, but his ceiling is apparent. Carr could make this Colts team a legitimate contender in the AFC in 2021.

That would definitely be a good haul of draft picks but it doesn’t seem likely the Raiders would make that deal.

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Finding a Franchise QB Is Very Hard

Franchise quarterbacks are incredibly hard to come by. Everybody thinks that players like Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson just grow on trees. Those guys are rare talents and there’s a reason not every team has a guy who can play at that level. There have also been a number of examples of quarterbacks looking like stars early in their careers but then they hit a wall.

Look at Carson Wentz. He looked like a future star and now he’s lucky if he starts another game. Mariota also looked like a future star after his second season but followed it up with a couple of very bad seasons. Quarterback is a very difficult position to play. Teams with good quarterbacks shouldn’t be so willing to give them up for unproven rookies.

Why Raiders Wouldn’t Make This Deal

Rich Gannon Encouraged by Marcus Mariota, Talks Tua & Finishing 2020 Strong | Las Vegas RaidersRaiders host Erin Coscarelli is joined by former Raiders quarterback and CBS analyst Rich Gannon to recap the Raiders loss to the Chargers and discuss QB Marcus Mariota, the Miami Dolphins and more. Visit for more. #LasVegasRaiders #NFL #MarcusMariota Keep up-to-date on all things Raiders: Stay informed: Download our app: Follow:…2020-12-22T19:53:16Z

This takes us back to the Raiders. For much of the season, Carr has looked like a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. At worst, he’s got to be considered a top-15 quarterback. To blame him for all of the Raiders’ losses just isn’t fair. The team’s defense is among the worst in the NFL and it’s hard to win a lot of games when you can’t stop anybody.

The Raiders should not consider trading Carr. He’s not a guy who can take a bad team and win a lot of games but there are maybe only two or three guys in the NFL who can. Mariota showed off some strong playmaking ability in his Raider debut but Carr is easily a better thrower. There’s no reason to believe that he’s the guy who’s going to turn the team around. Accumulating draft picks is good but the Raiders would be better off to hold onto Carr.

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