Things could get very interesting for the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.
When the season was coming to an end for the team, it looked like Derek Carr did enough to secure his spot as starting quarterback for 2021. In fact, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that he was safe heading into the offseason. However, that was long before Deshaun Watson made it clear he wanted out of Houston.
Carr is a top-10 quarterback but Watson is a generational talent. The fact that the Raiders have a very good quarterback that they could trade put them in a strong position to land Watson. It’s going to take a lot of draft picks to convince Houston to let go of their superstar quarterback. The Raiders don’t have a ton right now but that could change if they trade Carr. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, teams around NFL would love to land him.
“But there is a flip side to the season Carr just produced,” Bonsignore wrote. “Increased demand for his services, insiders say, could create a scenario in which a three-team trade allows the Raiders to acquire Watson.”
Carr might even be worth multiple first-round picks to the right team.
“It could get to two first-round picks,” an NFL insider said of what the Raiders could get for Carr, per Bonsignore. “He’s not Stafford, but he’s younger and he has a fair contract, so I could see two number ones.”
This is the first report that has linked the Raiders to a potential Carr trade in a significant way.
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Would Raiders Actually Make a Blockbuster Trade?
If the Texans don’t want Carr, it’s going to probably take at least four first-round picks to convince them to trade Watson. Through Jon Gruden’s latest tenure with the Raiders, he’s been more interested in acquiring first-round picks than he has been sending them away. General manager Mike Mayock and Gruden have been quite conservative when it comes to trades.
However, Watson would be one of the best players ever to hit the trade market if the Texans make him available. While Carr is more than capable of leading the team, the Raiders have to at least consider their options. Watson might be the only quarterback under 30 who can compete with Patrick Mahomes on a consistent basis. Carr has been a good soldier for the Raiders and has dealt with a lot of adversity. The team will be just fine if they stick with him but players like Watson don’t come around often. It’s a tough call and it’ll be fascinating to see if the Raiders do get involved in trade talks.
Watson Probably Wouldn’t Mind Joining the Raiders
An important part of a potential Watson trade is that he has a no-trade clause in his contract. That means he will have a level of control over where he’ll end up. Luckily, the Raiders should be very appealing to him. He’d be able to play with former Clemson teammates Hunter Renfrow, Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen, John Simpson and Tanner Muse.
He’d also have some really good weapons to work with in Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs. Plus, the Raiders have a stout offensive line, which is something he’s not used to. Watson said several years ago that he liked how the Raiders’ uniforms look. There’s no doubt he’d look really good in silver and black. If Las Vegas and Houston agree to trade terms, it’s hard to imagine Watson vetoing a deal.