Proposed Trade Has Raiders Involved in Blockbuster QB Swap

derek carr marcus mariota

Getty Derek Carr with Marcus Mariota.

After Derek Carr’s impressive season, it would seem to make sense for the Las Vegas Raiders to give him the starting quarterback job for the 2022 season. He’ll be entering a contract year so the team likely will make a long-term decision on him soon. That could largely depend on who the Raiders hire as general manager and head coach.

General manager Mike Mayock was fired January 17, two days after the Raiders’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia is not a lock to keep the job, but Carr called him the “right guy” for the position during a January 15 press conference.

Things could get interesting if Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson becomes available on the trade market. Wilson was involved in trade rumors last season but ended up staying put. The Seahawks’ 2021 record (7-10) was their worst in Wilson’s 10 years in Seattle.

NFL insider Mike Silver said on “The Colin Cowherd Podcast” on January 12 that Raiders owner Mark Davis has been “into that concept” of trading for Wilson in the past. This offseason could be the perfect time to make it happen.

In a January 19 Twitter poll, sports website uSTADIUM proposed a trade in which the Raiders would get Wilson in exchange for Carr, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick.

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With 1,365 votes, 75.5% voted that the Raiders would say no to the deal.

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Would This Be a Fair Trade for Raiders?

Carr’s value would best determine the fairness of uSTADIUM’s proposed trade. Pro Football Focus valued Carr in December 2021 as being worth two first-round picks and a third. Based solely on Pro Football Focus’ assessment of Carr, the proposed trade would not be worth it for the Raiders. However, dropping the 2023 first-round pick from the proposal would make it a fairer trade.

Wilson, 33, threw for 3,113 yards in 2021, the lowest of his career. He passed for 25 touchdowns (his lowest since 2016), but he also threw only 6 interceptions, the second-best number of his career. He’s also had only one losing season as a starter. If Seattle trades him, they are going to want a massive haul. Carr isn’t quite on the level of Wilson but he’d be a good fit with Pete Carroll. Having a quarterback that is valuable will give the Raiders a big advantage if they decide to enter the trade market for Wilson.

Will Carr Start for the Raiders Next Season?

Barring a trade for Wilson, Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers, Carr likely will be the starter for the Raiders next season. Carr’s clutch performances late in games helped the team to its second playoff appearance in 19 years. On January 12, ESPN columnist Mike Tannenbaum ranked Carr 12th on his final quarterback rankings of the season, just one spot behind Wilson.

As far as the Raiders’ search for a head coach, Carr should be considered a major reason the job is attractive. The quarterback class in the NFL draft is not appealing as it has been in recent years, so it’s hard to see the team addressing the position with a rookie. After this season, Carr will be an unrestricted free agent. If the Raiders extend his contract, clearly they believe he’s the answer. If they don’t, then rumors of what the team will do at quarterback in the future will be rampant.

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