The assumption from most New York Jets fans is that general manager Joe Douglas will target a big-name veteran quarterback in 2023.
When you look around the league, very few available options fit that description. Do you hold out hope that a Lamar Jackson or an Aaron Rodgers will shake free? How about former New England Patriots rivals Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady? — Who both come with questions of their own at this stage of their careers. Or will New York trade for a Jared Goff-type talent?
There are certainly other lesser-known candidates, but it feels like the favorite to join Gang Green has now become Las Vegas Raiders nine-year starter Derek Carr due to a wide-range of factors (more on that below). However, ESPN NYJ insider Rich Cimini had an ominous warning against going after the Raiders signal-caller.
Derek Carr Has Poor Record in ‘Cold-Weather’ Games
I’ve heard whispers about this from Carr naysayers in the past, but Cimini really laid it out for fans here with a scary statistic during his most recent article on January 15.
“There’s something you should know about him,” Cimini cautioned. “He’s not a very good cold-weather quarterback, and that’s kind of an important deal in New York.”
He continued: “When the game-time temperature is 40 degrees or lower, Carr has a 2-9 record, with 13 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 59% completion rate, per ESPN Stats & Info.”
The Raiders have made Carr available via trade with relatively obvious plans to cut the veteran after the Super Bowl (Feb. 15 salary deadline) if no offers come in before then. Having said that, Carr also holds a no-trade clause and can choose where he wants to end up whether he’s released or not — which makes things difficult for Las Vegas.
The Jets offer a great win-now roster for Carr to take over, but is the location a fit? Some have questioned whether the Fresno native is interested in playing in New York because of factors such as weather and intense pressure from media and fans.
WFAN radio host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason even stated boldly that “I know for a fact that Derek Carr is not built for [New York]” just after New Year’s Day.
Linked is a realistic trade proposal for Carr from an NYJ media member.
Potential Pros on Raiders QB Derek Carr to the Jets
Fans appear split on the idea of Carr in Green & White but along with the negatives above, we’ll give you some positives to consider.
For starters, the durable signal-caller has been an iron man throughout his career — missing just two games due to injury before being benched in 2022.
He’s also been relatively consistent, with somewhere between 3,490 passing yards and 4,110 passing yards in seven out of his nine campaigns in the NFL. The two outliers were his rookie season (3,270 passing yards) and a career-high mark of 4,804 passing yards in 2021.
His interception rate has also hovered around a ratio of 2-to-1 most years (i.e. 24 passing touchdowns for every 12 INTs). Some seasons were better, and others were below that mark, but Carr’s never been considered a turnover machine despite a higher interception total than usual in 2022 (14).
Statistically speaking, he’s actually been better than every quarterback in Jets history — a fact outlined by NYJ Matt on Twitter. Carr’s best four seasons top Joe Namath’s 1967 output, and six of them would rank top-seven all-time for the franchise.
Hard Rock Sportsbook also revealed that Carr has the most game-winning drives by a quarterback since 2014 — so he’s clutch as well.
Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania followed up on that figure, informing: “4thQ comebacks can be misleading for QBs because often, the team needed a comeback because QB struggled. But in Derek Carr’s case, his comebacks are usually because he’s bailing out the defense. In Carr’s NFL-high 28 Q4 comebacks since 2014, Raiders scored 28.8 PPG & allowed 24.5. It’s the 9th-most PPG by a QB in games with a Q4 comeback out of 30 qualifiers since 2014 (min. seven Q4 comebacks). In these games, Carr had 58 TD/17 INT with a 98.4 passer rating, 7.6 Y/A, and 290 YPG.”
Heavy’s very own sports insider Matt Lombardo also told us that an NFL scout recently backed the Raiders QB to him privately, voicing confidently: “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.”
As for the cold-weather theory, long-distance traveling from Oakland and Las Vegas to the northeast could have played a role in that too, but no one could ever say that for sure except Carr. A contrarian opinion on that comes from NFL Network draft expert Lance Zierlein, who described Carr as a “terrific arm talent” out of college, adding that he was “strong-armed” and “can make all the throws” despite playing conditions.