Proposed Trade Lands Colts $122 Million Player for 2023

Chris Ballard

Getty One Bleacher Report writer proposed the Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard making a big trade this offseason.

The Indianapolis Colts appear set on drafting a young signal caller in April. At least that’s what early NFL mock drafts indicate.

But rumors that the Colts could trade for a veteran quarterback have not stopped.

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox proposed the Colts acquire Las Vegas Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr for a third-round pick.

“Las Vegas cannot expect to get much in a deal because Carr—whose contract carries a no-trade clause—holds all the leverage,” Knox wrote. “Teams know that if Carr doesn’t agree to a deal, he’ll likely be released outright.

“This won’t stop teams from making a bid, though, in the hopes of jumping the market. The Indianapolis Colts are a franchise that needs a steady quarterback like Carr, and they’re in a situation that could entice him.”

Carr lost his job with the Raiders after leading the team to a 6-9 record. He completed 60.8% of his passes for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions during 15 games in 2022.

Why Derek Carr Could Be Interested in Indianapolis

Carr possesses a no-trade clause in his contract, which means, as it was with Matt Ryan last year, it will be completely up to Carr where he lands.

And just like Ryan, Knox argued that Carr could be interested in playing with the Colts.

“Indy has building blocks like Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr., the fourth-overall pick in the 2023 draft and a defense that ranked 15th in yards allowed last season,” wrote Knox.

“The Colts also reside in the AFC South, a division the Jacksonville Jaguars won with a 9-8 record. Carr should have a relatively clear path to the postseason in Indianapolis.”

The deadline for the Raiders to make a deal with Carr is February 15 because that’s when his base salary of $32.9 million in 2023 will become fully guaranteed. If the Raiders cannot find a trade partner before then, the expectation is he will be released.

Of course, teams such as the Colts are aware of that deadline. General manager Chris Ballard could wait to see if Carr is released and then try to sign the quarterback in free agency.

That path for Carr to join the Colts is less dramatic, but it wouldn’t cost the team a third-round pick.

Why the Colts Could Be Interested in Derek Carr

Despite going 4-12-1, the Colts could be a team of interest for Carr. The question then becomes if the Colts want to take one more stab at a quarterback retread.

With the No. 4 pick, it makes a lot more sense for the Colts to start over with a young quarterback from the draft. Again, Carr lost his job with the Raiders and holds a career record 15 games below .500 (64-79).

Even with a young quarterback, though, the Colts could be interested in Carr. Depending on who Indianapolis might draft to be the franchise’s future behind center, he might not be ready to be the team’s starter in Week 1 next season.

A veteran quarterback such as Carr would be a sort of insurance policy in that type of situation.

Spotrac projected the Colts to have $11.9 million in cap space as of February 5, but the team could easily open up an additional $17.2 million in space by releasing Ryan.

That makes Carr affordable for the Colts.

The Raiders drafted Carr in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He threw for 35,222 yards and 217 touchdowns with 19 interceptions in 142 starts.

He tossed for a career-high 4,804 passing yards just two years ago in 2021. But Carr arguably had his best season in 2016 when he threw for 28 touchdowns versus only 6 interceptions while leading the Raiders to a 12-3 record before breaking a fibula.

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