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Top 5 Destinations For Derek Carr


Quite possibly the worst kept secret in the league, the Las Vegas Raiders will not be bringing Derek Carr back for 2023. The Raiders have until February 14th to pick up a $32.9M option on Carr for this year and $7.5M for next year. If they don’t pick it up, he will be a free agent. If they do pick it up, they are on the hook for $40M for 2023 and 2024. There is an outside chance of the Raiders trading Carr, but Derek has a no trade clause in his contract. Why would he approve a trade if he could go on the open market for his services one month ahead of free agency?

Given the circumstances, Carr will have his choice of many suitors. Carr has stated his primary objective is to win a championship, Family and faith are very important to him as well, so this is as much a family decision as it is a championship decision. As of this writing, he’s only met with the New Orleans Saints, but it is expected to pick up in the next week or two. 

So with that said, here are my Top 5 Team options for Derek Carr to consider this offseason: 

Option 1: San Francisco 49ers: Carr would love this. Back to the bay area would be ideal for him and his family. Also, he’d be on a team that would surely be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. This would be the ultimate all in move for San Francisco, likely trading Trey Lance and/or Brock Purdy in the process. If the 49ers are interested, this marriage becomes difficult to stop from happening.

Option 2: Baltimore Ravens: I know what you are saying, why would he sign with Baltimore when the Ravens already have Lamar Jackson? Seems far fetched, but here this out: under what scenario would Derek Carr agree to a trade with the Raiders? Surely the Raiders are trying to move him vs cutting him if they can get something back. The only trade package that makes sense to me is for the Raiders to get something bigger in return.

What if the Raiders were interested in Lamar Jackson? Jackson and the Ravens are in the midst of a contract battle and aren’t close to a resolution. If the Ravens were to consider trading Jackson, they would want a QB more than competent to run their offense. Unfortunately they don’t have that on the roster with  Huntley.

Consider this trade proposal:

Baltimore Ravens get: QB Derek Carr, 2023 & 2024 1st and 3rd round picks

Las Vegas Raiders get: QB Lamar Jackson & 2024 4th round pick

Why wouldn’t Carr agree to this? He goes to a Super Bowl contending team and the team gets draft picks that will help the team get better now and in the future. Baltimore has to be fascinated by this idea to get a Top 12 QB in this league and get draft capital in return. Lastly, the Raiders could be intrigued by the idea of having a generational talent like Jackson on their team. And given their history of “need for speed” players, why not take the fastest QB in the league? 

While this scenario is unlikely, because of the complex nature of any deal, it makes a lot of sense for all three parties (Carr, Raiders, and Ravens). 

Option 3: Miami Dolphins: until Miami financially commits to Tua, it is very difficult to rule this team out of the QB market this offseason. The Dolphins are competitive in the AFC and appear to have found an excellent head coach with an offensive mind. Aside from that, they have two of the best WR weapons in the league. Carr would come in and duplicate what Tua did, without the injury history that comes with Tua. While the defense isn’t Top 5, it is good enough to help them make a deep run in the playoffs. Again, this comes down to whether or not Miami is willing to commit to Tua long term. But Carr should be very attracted to this option. 

Option 4: Seattle Seahawks: another destination on the West Coast for Carr that is probably more practical than San Francisco. The Seahawks are in year 2 post-Russ and look to be on the precipice of something great. Another year letting that 2022 Draft class develop should make this team better by default. They’d give Carr a strong running game, with plenty of playmakers at receiver and tight end. The defense is young but was playing very well earlier in the year and will continue to get better. Lastly, Seattle has 4 picks in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Given how the front office performed in the draft last year, it’s reasonable to think they get even better.

Option 5: Carolina Panthers: Of all the scenarios here, this one is the cleanest. The team has one of the best, young defenses in the league, and no QB to replace. Combine that with a great running game, and a WR in DJ Moore, and this team has potential. Additionally, they added Frank Reich as head coach. He led the Eagles, as offensive coordinator, to a Super Bowl Championship. He also ran the Colts as head coach with different starters every year. Lastly, the team has the Cap Space to give Derek a market value contract. If the Panthers sign Derek Carr, I would look for them to add a WR or TE early on in the NFL Draft. With an offseason like this, this team is hands down the NFL South favorite and possibly a threat to reach the Super Bowl. 

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