Five Derek Carr Trade Destinations

Derek Carr Trade

The Derek Carr Era is all but over in Las Vegas, and an offseason trade is inevitable. Head coach Josh McDaniels has benched the Raiders longtime quarterback and will almost certainly send him to a new home at some point in the offseason. Carr is no superstar, but he is a solid starter and would be a welcome upgrade for several teams throughout the league. However, which trade destination makes the most sense for the three-time Pro Bowler?

Top Five Derek Carr Trade Destinations, Ranked

1. New York Jets

The New York Jets have everything a team needs to compete – except for a quarterback. The defense is stacked to the brim with young, promising playmakers, and the wide receiver duo of Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore has the potential to terrorize defenses for the next decade. Unfortunately, it’s hard to be consistently good with Zach Wilson under center. It’s obvious that Wilson is not New York’s long-term answer, and while Mike White is fun, he’s nothing more than an above-average backup. The Jets have found a way to go 7-8 despite their atrocious quarterback situation, so a league-average starter like Carr should be able to turn this team into a genuine playoff contender.

2. Indianapolis Colts

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Indianapolis Colts might acquire a veteran quarterback on the back nine of his career. Ever since Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement, the Colts have patched the quarterback position with a series of short-term stopgaps. Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan have all started games for Indianapolis over the past three years with various levels of success.

Perhaps the Colts finally learned their lesson and will draft a young passer, but it’s possible that they try to acquire yet another veteran passer. After all, Chris Ballard is still calling the shots in Indianapolis. Derek Carr is better than the versions of Rivers, Wentz, and Ryan that played for the Colts and could help the team compete in what will probably be a weak AFC South.

3. Carolina Panthers

Apparently, Matt Rhule was the problem. After starting the season 1-4 and trading away their best player, the Carolina Panthers have turned into an unlikely playoff contender under interim head coach Steve Wilks. The team currently sits at 6-9 and controls its own playoff destiny heading into the Week 17 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’ve done all this despite having no clarity at the quarterback position. Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker, and Sam Darnold have all started multiple games for Carolina, and while Darnold has looked adequate in the past few weeks, there is no question that Carr would be a sizable upgrade. If the Panthers make the playoffs, they might not be in a position to select their quarterback of the future, which would make Carr all the more attractive.

4. New Orleans Saints

At 6-9 and with no first-round pick in 2023, the New Orleans Saints do not have a clear path to improve the quarterback position. The Jameis Winston experiment did not work out, and Andy Dalton is too limited at this point in his career. If Sean Payton and Tom Brady don’t join forces in New Orleans, then Derek Carr is probably the best option available. While the Saints are more than a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention, they could win a weak NFC South in 2023, especially if Brady leaves Tampa Bay.

5. Arizona Cardinals

The 2022 Arizona Cardinals are an absolute trainwreck, and it will spell the end of the Kliff Kingsbury Era. In addition to having to find a new head coach, the Cardinals might also need to find a new quarterback. Kyler Murray tore his ACL in early December and probably won’t be ready for the start of the 2023 season. Even if he is ready, the short-term loss of mobility will be a big problem for a guy that relies on his rushing prowess. Carr would be nothing more than a short-term fix for Arizona, but if a market doesn’t develop, then it’s possible the Cardinals trade a pick to get Derek Carr under center for Week 1.