It has been a wild ride for Derek Carr over the past 14 months. In the 2020 season, he led the Raiders to a four-game win streak and an AFC wild-card slot, but the team ultimately fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs. That was followed by the hiring of head coach Josh McDaniels, the acquisition of Carr’s college teammate Davante Adams via trade, and a three-year contract extension worth $121.5 million for Carr.
However, the past year has also seen its fair share of struggles for Carr and the Raiders. The team has struggled this season, finishing with a record of 6-9, and Carr has struggled personally, with his emotions spilling over following a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Things came to a head when McDaniels announced that Jarrett Stidham would be replacing Carr for the remainder of the regular season.
With all of this drama in the past year, it’s no surprise that there is speculation about Carr’s future with the Raiders. Will he stay in Las Vegas, or will the team look to move on from him in the offseason?
The Case for Keeping Derek Carr
There are a few arguments in favor of the Raiders keeping Carr as their starting quarterback. Firstly, he has shown the ability to lead the team to success in the past, including the four-game win streak in 2020 that earned them a playoff spot. While he has struggled at times this season, it’s worth noting that he has also faced some challenges, including a less-than-stellar offensive line and a lack of top-tier receiving options.
Carr also has a strong connection with some of his teammates, including Adams, and has a reputation as a good leader in the locker room. It’s possible that with some changes to the team’s supporting cast and a renewed focus on offense, Carr could bounce back and lead the Raiders to success in the future.
Finally, there is the financial aspect to consider. While the Raiders would take a hit in terms of dead money if they were to release Carr, it wouldn’t be a significant blow to the team’s salary cap. However, if they were to trade him, they would likely have to take on the contract of another quarterback, which could be more costly.
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The Case for Moving On
On the other hand, there are also arguments in favor of the Raiders moving on from Carr in the offseason. One of the main reasons is his inconsistency. While he has had some strong performances in the past, he has also had a number of inconsistent and underwhelming games, which has made it difficult for the Raiders to rely on him as their franchise quarterback.
In addition, the Raiders have a number of other needs on the roster, and it’s possible that the team could use the resources that are currently tied up in Carr’s contract to address those needs instead. This could potentially give the Raiders a stronger overall team and a better chance at success in the future.
Finally, there is the question of whether Carr is the best fit for the Raiders’ long-term plans. With a new head coach in McDaniels and a move to a new city, the Raiders may be looking to start fresh with a new quarterback. If the team decides that Carr isn’t the right fit for their future, it could make sense for them to move on from him in the offseason.
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Potential Landing Spots for Carr
If the Raiders do decide to move on from Carr in the offseason, there are several teams that could potentially be interested in acquiring him. Here are a few possibilities:
New York Jets
The Jets have been connected to other veteran quarterbacks, such as Jimmy Garoppolo, but if Carr is available, he could be a viable option for the Jets. They have some promising weapons on offense, but they have struggled to find a long-term solution at quarterback. Carr’s experience and leadership could potentially be a valuable asset for the Jets as they look to turn their fortunes around.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ quarterback situation is uncertain, with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston both under contract but neither being a clear starter. If the Raiders release Carr, the Saints could potentially make a play for him, although their salary cap situation may make it difficult to fit him in. However, if the Saints decide that they need a new quarterback, Carr could be an attractive option given his experience and track record of success in the league.
The Colts have a history of signing or trading for veteran quarterbacks, and Carr could be an option for them if they decide to go that route again. However, it’s worth noting that the Colts have struggled to find stability at the position, so Carr would be taking on a risky situation if he were to join the team. It’s also possible that the Colts may prefer to go with a younger, cheaper option at quarterback, given their tight salary cap situation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If Tom Brady decides to retire or leave the Buccaneers in the offseason, the team will be in need of a new quarterback. Carr could be a potential option for the Buccaneers, although their tight salary cap situation could make it difficult to fit him in. However, if the Buccaneers believe that Carr could be a long-term solution at quarterback, they could potentially find a way to make it work financially.
New York Giants
The Giants have struggled to find a long-term solution at quarterback, and Carr could be an option for them if they decide to move on from Daniel Jones. The Giants have a high draft pick and could potentially use it to
select a quarterback, but they could also consider signing or trading for a veteran like Carr. The Giants have some promising young weapons on offense, including wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, and a solid offensive line, so Carr could potentially thrive in the right system.
The Vikings have struggled at the quarterback position in recent years, and it’s unclear whether Kirk Cousins is the long-term answer for the team. If the Vikings decide to move on from Cousins, Carr could be a potential option for them. He has experience playing in a similar offensive system to the one that the Vikings run, and he could potentially be a good fit for the team’s offensive personnel.
The Bears are another team that has struggled to find consistency at the quarterback position in recent years. While they have a promising young quarterback in Mitch Trubisky, it’s possible that they could be in the market for a veteran backup or potential starter. Carr could potentially fit the bill, and he could provide the Bears with some much-needed stability at the position.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have a number of key players set to hit free agency in the offseason, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. If the 49ers decide to move on from Garoppolo, Carr could potentially be a viable option for them. He has experience playing in the NFC West and could potentially thrive in the 49ers’ offensive system.
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team is another team that could potentially be in the market for a quarterback in the offseason. While they have a promising young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, it’s unclear whether he is the long-term answer for the team. If the Washington Football Team decides to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with or potentially replace Haskins, Carr could be a potential option. He has experience playing in the NFC East and could potentially provide the team with some much-needed stability at the position.
It’s hard to say for certain what the future holds for Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders. While there are arguments for both keeping Carr and moving on from him in the offseason, ultimately the decision will come down to the team’s evaluation of his performance and fit within their long-term plans. If the Raiders do decide to move on from Carr, there are several teams that could potentially be interested in acquiring him, including the Jets, Saints, Colts, Buccaneers, Giants, Vikings, Bears, 49ers, and Washington Football Team. Only time will tell where Carr will end up, but these are a few possible landing spots for him if he becomes available in the offseason.