The quarterback position isn’t something the Las Vegas Raiders have had to worry about for almost a decade. Derek Carr had ups and downs on the field but he brought the team stability at the game’s most important position for nine years. The Raiders will now try to upgrade over Carr, which won’t be easy.
There was talk of the team adding Tom Brady before he retired. Now there’s talk of Las Vegas trading for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers but that’s far from a sure thing. He could retire, stay with the Packers or want to get traded elsewhere. The Raiders hold the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which will put them in a position to draft a top quarterback. There was a momentum that a veteran would replace Carr when the season ended but now it’s looking like Las Vegas may prefer a rookie, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
“We’re in Week 2 of the post-Derek Carr era and a week away from the NFL combine,” Tafur wrote. “There is a sense the Raiders want to do the right thing and draft a quarterback, address the holes on their roster and build a winning team step by step.”
Raiders Could Still Get Tempted by a Veteran
When Carr was benched, it seemed like the Raiders were all in on Brady. Star tight end Darren Waller essentially confirmed that. Brady retiring must have thrown a wrench into the team’s plans. He was the only free agent who would’ve been a clear upgrade over Carr. Rodgers would also be an upgrade but he’s 39 and would cost a haul of draft picks in a trade.
Going after a rookie makes a lot of sense given the current circumstances. However, Tafur believes that the Raiders could get tempted to go after Rodgers over drafting a rookie.
“But … we’re in Las Vegas, the home of shoving your chips all in and letting it ride on the spin of a wheel,” Tafur wrote. “So, trading for Aaron Rodgers — if he decides he wants out of Green Bay — is tempting. Last year, the Raiders’ new regime rolled the dice on an offense led by Carr and Davante Adams outscoring opponents and might be itching to double down with Rodgers instead of Carr. It’s tricky, though, given you would have to trade draft picks to get him.”
What Should Raiders Do?
Trading for Rodgers makes the Raiders one of the most interesting teams in the NFL. Barring injuries, the team would have a top-10 offense next season with the former MVP at the helm. If they can add a few difference-makers on defense, they’d have to at least be mentioned among the fringe Super Bowl contenders.
However, this is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. It’s possible that Rodgers will only play for one or two more seasons. Trading away valuable draft picks to get a quarterback for one or two seasons would be a net loss if they don’t win a Super Bowl. The Raiders’ current roster isn’t good enough to take that gamble. Now, if the asking price for Rodgers is just a mid-round pick, then they have to go after him. If the Packers are expecting a treasure chest of first-round picks, the Raiders are far better off using the No. 7 pick on a rookie quarterback and re-signing Jarrett Stidham. They likely wouldn’t be contenders next season but the future would be exciting.