There was some huge quarterback news this week as the Las Vegas Raiders announced they will be benching starter Derek Carr for the remainder of the 2022 season — and no, it’s not because of his performance on the field.
Heavy on Raiders reporter Austin Boyd provided the real reason behind this decision, relaying: “Carr signed a contract extension with the team [over] the offseason but Las Vegas gave themselves an out. If they cut him within a few days after the Super Bowl, they’ll only be on the hook for a $5.6 million dead cap hit. The only way his contract would become guaranteed before would be if he suffered a serious injury. Carr’s future with the team is in doubt so they had to ensure he wouldn’t get injured [during the final two weeks of 2022].”
In other words, Las Vegas is looking to get Carr off the books after the season, and it just so happens that the New York Jets are in need of a veteran quarterback. The Athletic’s NYJ beat member Zack Rosenblatt was all over it, detailing a realistic trade package for Carr this morning on December 29.
Realistic Jets-Raiders Trade Package for QB Derek Carr
Attempting to put himself in the mindset and shoes of Jets general manager Joe Douglas, Rosenblatt’s trade offer to the Raiders was as follows:
- Jets get Carr.
- Raiders get a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 fifth-round pick.
Of course, Las Vegas would also clear the quarterback’s contract off the books. Rosenblatt explained his decision to offer no more than a couple of day two picks.
“The Jets will spend the next few weeks figuring out if Mike White is a legitimate starting option, but Carr would obviously be a more surefire upgrade — and it doesn’t hurt that he’ll still only be 32 in 2023,” the reporter began.
Continuing: “I have a hard time believing the Jets would give up a lot for a player at Carr’s current salary, so there would need to be some negotiation to bring down Carr’s significant upcoming cap hits. The Jets are currently only projected for around $15 million in cap space for 2023, with a number of key financial decisions to make and other holes to fill. Quinnen Williams is on the verge of an Aaron Donald-esque payday, and key players like George Fant, Connor McGovern, Sheldon Rankins, Quincy Williams, Lamarcus Joyner and Greg Zuerlein are all set to hit free agency. They’ll likely have to make some tough cuts (think Corey Davis, C.J. Mosley and/or Carl Lawson) to clear enough cap space to upgrade the roster.”
That brought Rosenblatt to the conclusion above, voicing: “Ultimately, if the Jets believe they really are just a quarterback away from the playoffs, I expect owner Woody Johnson wants GM Joe Douglas and coach Robert Saleh to find the right guy to get them back into legitimate contention. I am tempted to offer [Zach] Wilson to the Raiders to give them a young developmental QB option, but [Josh] McDaniels might be coaching for his job, so that seems unlikely. Since Carr feels more likely to be cut than traded — and the Jets will have interest in [Jimmy] Garoppolo — I don’t think Douglas would offer much more than a Day 2 pick.”
Why Should Jets Fans Support a Derek Carr Acquistion?
Carr has already become a polarizing name on Jets Twitter and social media. Some fans appear to love him, and others want no part of him.
The common complaints that I’ve seen against Carr are the following:
- Has a 6-9 record despite playing with Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs.
- Financial cap hit and compensation (overpaid).
- Arm concerns playing in the Northeast.
- Career-high 14 interceptions in 2021 and 2022.
Naysayers are leaving some things out about Carr’s track record, however. For starters, he’s been insanely durable throughout his NFL tenure with just two missed starts due to injury in his career (started 142 out of a potential 144 games).
He’s considered a top arm talent by most too, so it’s unclear where those weather concerns are coming from. NFL Network draft expert Lance Zierlein described Carr as a “terrific arm talent” out of college, adding that he was “strong-armed” and “can make all the throws.”
There’s also this positive note that was outlined by NYJ Matt on Twitter. “Before immediately ruling out Carr as an option, here’s where he would rank in single season Jets history,” he informed, revealing that the Raider QB’s yardage totals per season would rank in six out of Gang Green’s top seven slots all-time — including each of the top four spots.
Joe Namath’s 1967 campaign that broke the 4,000-yard mark would rank fifth behind Carr’s four seasons from 2018 through 2021. His career-high was 4,805 yards a season ago, in which he led the Raiders to an unlikely playoff berth after Jon Gruden was fired early on.
That’s battling through adversity, and Adams wasn’t even on the roster in 2021.
In 2022, Carr was forced to learn a new offensive system and has been without playmakers like Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller for extended stretches of the year due to injury. He has also been saddled with a bottom-10 defense in terms of yardage and points allowed per game — and there’s obviously the matter of the McDaniels coaching hire that has looked downright horrible so far.
Heavy’s very own sports insider Matt Lombardo tapped an NFL scout for his opinion on Carr. The source backed the veteran, stating: “Derek can play anywhere. They should have kept the other coach and never hired Josh McDaniels. Whoever gets Derek will be getting a steal. He’s a great fit for any QB-needy team, but the Jets and Colts are two really good destinations.”