Proposed Blockbuster Trade Sends Frustrated 3-Time Pro Bowl QB to Bucs

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady faces an uncertain future with the Buccaneers.

A window may have opened for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to acquire the team’s best quarterback option if Tom Brady does not return for 2023. The Raiders opted to bench three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr for the remainder of the season paving the way for a potential trade.

Tampa Bay could emerge as a potential landing spot for Carr if Brady opts to retire or sign with another team this offseason. There is a reasonable scenario where the Raiders and Buccaneers starting quarterbacks end up trading places in 2023 given Brady’s familiarity with Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe suggested a trade proposal where the Bucs send the Raiders their 2023 second-round pick in exchange for Carr. There are two important notes on Carr that should be considered. Carr has a no-trade clause giving the quarterback ultimate control over his next destination. Secondly, Carr’s salary for the next two seasons become fully guaranteed three days after the Super Bowl, per NFL insider Doug Kyed. This means the clock could be ticking for the Buccaneers to get a definitive decision from Brady, but the quarterback may not reveal his future until free agency begins in March.

Carr Controls His Future Thanks to a No-Trade Clause

The Raiders will likely be pushing to land a first-round pick for Carr, but it remains to be seen if they will find a team willing to pony up for the quarterback. Carr’s three-year, $121 million contract runs through the 2025 season, a big financial commitment given the Raiders’ struggles this season. The quarterback’s no-trade clause could prevent Las Vegas from receiving true market value with the inability for the Raiders to create a true bidding war.

“There would be obvious concerns with Carr in the Bucs’ offensive system — which Brady couldn’t even save this season – but they need Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to be happy with a veteran quarterback,” Howe wrote on December 29, 2022. “The division is going to remain winnable — two of the other teams making offers here are from the NFC South, and the Panthers certainly don’t have their quarterback of the future — especially if the defense can improve after an inconsistent season.

“I’d offer the Bucs’ second-round pick, which is currently projected to be No. 51 if they win the NFC South and lose in the first round of the playoffs. If they miss the playoffs, it could be in the neighborhood of the 40th pick. If the Bucs can somehow find a new direction on offense, Carr would keep them relevant in the post-Brady era.”

Carr Stepped Away From the Raiders to Avoid Being a Distraction: Report

Benching Carr for the final two games of this season does not necessarily mean the Raiders will move on form the veteran quarterback. Las Vegas is attempting to protect themselves from Carr’s deal becoming fully guaranteed if the quarterback sustains an injury. Yet, it is hard to imagine the two parties patching things up after this decision. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Carr has stepped away from the team to avoid “obvious distractions.”

“As part of the discussions that took place over the last few days, both sides concluded that it was best Raiders QB Derek Carr step away the final two games to avoid the obvious distractions, sources say,” Rapoport tweeted on December 28. “He won’t practice and will be listed as ‘not injury related.’”