Raiders Linked to Former No. 1 Pick QB Josh McDaniels ‘Wanted to Coach’

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

Since Josh McDaniels took over as Las Vegas Raiders head coach, all signs have pointed to the team moving forward with quarterback Derek Carr. There have been no rumors of the team entertaining trades for quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson. In fact, McDaniels has definitively stated that Carr will be the starter in Week 1 of the 2022 season.

However, until the quarterback signs a contract extension, nothing is truly definitive. Plus, an interesting twist may have been thrown McDaniels’ way. The Cleveland Browns are currently exploring a trade for Watson, which isn’t great news for Baker Mayfield. The former No. 1 overall pick had an excellent year in 2020 but regressed in 2021. It now looks like the Browns don’t view him as the quarterback of the future.

Mayfield sent a message on Twitter that sounded like a goodbye to Cleveland despite nothing being official yet. There’s a strong chance he won’t be returning to the team even if they don’t trade for Watson. In 2020, McDaniels interviewed for the Browns’ head coaching opening. According to Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm, the coach “loved” Mayfield coming out of college and “wanted to coach him” if he got the Browns job.

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Raiders ‘Intriguing Possibility’ for Mayfield

McDaniels might be the most logical coach for Mayfield if he’s moved. He is clearly a fan of the quarterback and the two would be a solid fit. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk discussed the Raiders as a potential destination.

“Another intriguing possibility is the Raiders,” Florio wrote. “New coach Josh McDaniels worked out Mayfield just before the 2018 draft, when McDaniels was with the Patriots. How does McDaniels feel about him now, especially in comparison to Derek Carr?”

Mary Kay Cabot of has reported that the Browns would be interested in Carr as a replacement for Mayfield. It’d be easy for the two sides to cut a deal.

Trading Carr for Mayfield Would Be a Colossal Mistake

While Mayfield could work with McDaniels, there’s absolutely no way the Raiders should even consider trading Carr for the former No. 1 pick. First of all, there’s a reason Cleveland would rather have Carr than Mayfield. The latter can cause headaches off the field, had injuries issues last season and lacks size at 6-foot-1. Carr is everything that Mayfield isn’t. He causes no drama, never gets hurt and is bigger at 6-foot-3.

Even if McDaniels did actually like Mayfield, there’s no reason to believe that he likes him more than Carr. NFL Network has reported in the past that the Patriots considered trading for the Raiders quarterback after Tom Brady left. Similar to Carr, Mayfield is going to need a new contract soon so there really isn’t any benefit of swapping the two. Unless the Raiders can get a definitive upgrade over Carr, it’s hard to imagine they move on from him. The only way they should consider a Mayfield for Carr swap is if the Browns tack on some first-round picks to sweeten the pot.

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