Not only have the Las Vegas Raiders benched Derek Carr, but the veteran quarterback will also be away from the team for the final two games of the season. There’s a strong possibility that he has suited up in Silver and Black for the last time. It’s an unceremonious end for the most statically prolific passer in franchise history.
Carr has said in the past that he’d rather quit football than play for a team other than the Raiders. That will be put to the test this offseason as the team will almost certainly attempt to trade him. Carr has a no-trade clause in his contract so he’ll be able to dictate where he goes. Considering how things are ending in Las Vegas, he should be highly motivated to go to a good team that needs a quarterback so he can prove the Raiders wrong. Bleacher Report believes the New Orleans Saints could be a strong suitor. They pitched a trade that sends Carr to New Orleans for a second and fifth-round pick in next year’s draft:
Acquiring Carr would make a lot of sense for the Saints since they do not have a first-round pick in the 2023 draft. They likely won’t get a shot to select one of the best signal-callers available this spring.
Additionally, Saints head coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders’ head coach when Carr was a rookie in 2014. It’s possible Allen would be open to a reunion with Carr in the Big Easy.
Can Raiders Get a 1st-Round Pick for Carr?
A second and fifth-round pick for Carr seems a tad low. Yes, he was benched for poor play but he’s proven in the past that he’s a really good quarterback and has been named to the Pro Bowl three times. The biggest knock on him is that he hasn’t won a ton of games but that doesn’t take into account that the Raiders run one of the worst operations in the NFL.
If the team does end up trading him, they should be trying to get at least a first-round pick. Top-15 quarterbacks don’t typically become available and a team like the Saints could be a quarterback away from being really good. However, they don’t have a first-round pick to give this year. Perhaps adding a third-round pick to a Carr trade would be enough to get the Raiders to make the move.
Why Saints Could Be Appealing to Carr
Carr gets to dictate where he gets traded to. In fact, he can just say no to any trade and force the Raiders to keep or cut him. If he gets cut, he has complete freedom to play where he wants. The Saints should be a very appealing team to him. Head coach Dennis Allen was Carr’s head coach when he first came into the league. They’ve remained close since.
With Tom Brady possibly leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there isn’t a single scary team in the NFC South. Carr would have to like the idea of playing in the NFL’s weakest division. Also, the Saints have major talent on both sides of the ball. Chris Olave looks like a future star at wide receiver and Michael Thomas can still be an impact player if he can get healthy. The Saints’ defense isn’t as strong this year but they haven’t been helped by a bad offense. They still have star players in Cameron Jordan, Tyrann Mathieu and Marshon Lattimore. New Orleans would be a great landing spot for Carr.
Carr will not give the Raiders the benefit that comes with a trade. He will force his release and if he chooses to continue to play it will be where he wants without giving the Raiders anything as it should be. Best Wishes DC in retirement or your next endeavor.