Jets, Giants, Commanders Among Teams That Could Add Raiders QB

  • February 13, 2023

The Derek Carr-Las Vegas Raiders marriage is officially headed for divorce. After the Raiders benched Carr for the final two games of the season to ensure he didn’t get injured and lock in guaranteed money, it became apparent Las Vegas would move on from the veteran quarterback this offseason.

Carr will undoubtedly have suitors around the NFL. Which teams could look to add the 31-year-old this month?

Derek Carr’s Potential Landing Spots

Carr has a no-trade clause, so the Raiders always needed to work with him to find a suitable landing spot. His 2023 base salary ($32.9 million) and part of his 2024 salary ($7.5 million) will become fully guaranteed on Feb. 15. With Carr seemingly refusing any potential trade destination, let’s run through the best potential landing spots, starting with two teams in New York.

New York Jets

The Jets, by all accounts, should have made the playoffs this season. Gang Green’s defense ranked sixth in efficiency, and the club’s offense is full of talented weapons. But New York hasn’t been able to figure out its quarterback situation, and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur took the fall.

Mike White is a free agent and could theoretically follow LaFleur to his next destination, while Joe Flacco is also scheduled to hit the open market. The Jets can’t realistically turn back to Zach Wilson, given the woeful season he just had. Meanwhile, New York holds the 13th pick in the first round, so they might be out of range of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

For the Jets, Carr would be the rising tide that lifts all boats. He won’t deliver an All-Pro season anytime soon, but he’ll offer the sort of slightly above-average QB play that New York’s roster requires.

New York Giants

Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and the rest of the Giants’ offensive staff did a wonderful job working with Daniel Jones this season. The former No. 6 overall pick posted the best campaign of his career, ranking seventh in QBR and serving as a battering ram in the run game.

New York would reportedly like to extend Jones this offseason, but there’s always a chance he heads to another team. In that case, Carr could make sense for Big Blue. Daboll worked with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels on the Patriots’ staff, and the relationship could prove fruitful if the two clubs engage in trade talks.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders have played the veteran quarterback game in each of the past two offseasons, but neither go-round worked out. In 2021, Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered an injury in the first game of the season and didn’t play again all year. In 2022, Carson Wentz dealt with both injuries and ineffectiveness, and it doesn’t seem like he’s part of Washington’s 2023 plans.

Taylor Heinicke is a suitable backup and spot starter, but that’s all he is. He’s also a pending free agent. The Commanders could give fifth-round pick Sam Howell an extended look, but they probably need to start over under center. However, like the Jets, Washington is set to pick in the middle of the first round (16th), so a rookie QB might not be an option.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Tom Brady retiring, Tampa Bay won’t have many internal options to replace him. Re-signing Blaine Gabbert and making him the starter would be akin to waving the white flag, while the Bucs haven’t shown any indication that they believe in former second-round pick Kyle Trask.

Carr might not be the best fit for Tampa Bay’s offense, given that he’s not among the best deep-ball throwers in the league. But the NFC South will be wide open in 2023, and Carr would give the Bucs an excellent shot at a third straight division title.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans may feel as though the Ryan Tannehill experiment has run its course. If that’s the case, Tennessee could designate the 34-year-old as a post-June 1 release and clear $27 million in salary cap space.

Joshua Dobbs played well in two starts to end the season, but it’s unlikely the Titans view him as a frontline option for 2023. Tennessee took a gamble on Malik Willis in the third round of the 2022 draft, but the former Liberty quarterback has looked totally overwhelmed at the NFL level.

MORE: Ryan Tannehill Among Leading Cut Candidates in 2023

Upgrading from Tannehill to Carr might not seem like much of an upgrade at all, but Carr is three years younger and offers a higher floor than Tannehill at this point in his career. An offense designed around Carr, Derrick Henry, Treylon Burks, and Chigoziem Okonkwo could do some damage.

Indianapolis Colts

We’ll wrap up with two teams that need quarterbacks but ultimately seem unlikely to go after Carr. The Colts have had a different primary passer in each of the past five seasons, and given the coaching staff change, Indy will probably target a QB in the draft.

Indeed, general manager Chris Ballard said he’d be “willing to do whatever it takes” to move up to the No. 1 overall pick if there’s a quarterback the Colts like. That being said, we’ve heard this type of aggressive talk from Ballard before, and he still hasn’t selected a first-round quarterback in his tenure.

Carr would represent an upgrade for Indianapolis, but this is a roster that needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Acquiring another veteran QB would be in line with the Colts’ recent strategy, but it’s not the best move for the 2023 version of this team.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers finished the season so strongly that they may have pushed themselves out of range for drafting an elite quarterback prospect. In that case, Carr could become an option for Carolina, depending on who they hire as their next head coach.

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Still, given that they hold the ninth overall pick, the Panthers should have the ability to trade up and grab a QB they like in the draft. Thanks to the Christian McCaffrey trade, Carolina has extra selections in the second, third, and fourth rounds. With that type of draft capital in hand, general manager Scott Fitterer and Co. will be free to move up the board.

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