Over the weekend, ESPN’s Jeremey Fowler listed three teams who he expects to inquire about the Las Vegas Raiders' soon-to-be former starting quarterback, Derek Carr; the Washington Commanders, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints.
While more potential trade partners can pop up between now and February 15, the deadline the Raiders are working with given Carr’s contract guarantees, those three teams are some of the first ones to reportedly be interested in Carr. So, that begs the question, what can the Commanders, Jets and Saints offer for the QB? And which trade package would be to Las Vegas’ liking?
Of course, where the veteran passer wants to go will play a big factor in any trade as his no-trade clause gives him some freedom to pick his next destination. But for now, we’ll take a look at the situation strictly from the organization’s perspective and see what they could get in return from each prospective trade partner.
2023 Draft Picks: 16 overall (1st round), 47 (2nd), 97 (3rd), 117 (4th), 150 (5th), 192 (6th), 214 (6th), 234 (7th)
Tradeable players: DE Chase Young, RB Antonio Gibson, WR Curtis Samuel
The Commanders enter the offseason in an interesting spot when it comes to their quarterback situation. It’s expected that they’ll move on from Carson Wentz after one disappointing season since he doesn’t have any dead money left on his contract. Taylor Heinickie, who has made 24 starts over the last two years, will be a free agent, leaving last year’s fifth-round pick, Sam Howell, as the last QB standing.
With a mid-first-round pick, Washington is out of range to draft one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class and would likely have to give up a lot of assets to trade up, making a deal for Carr seem much more viable.
Seeing Young’s name as a trade pawn may seem shocking at first glance, however, the 2020 second-overall pick has missed 22 games over the last two seasons with torn ACL. Plus, his contract is up after next season — unless his fifth-year option is picked up — and Montez Sweat is set to be a free agent next offseason. So, they could afford to use Young to get a quarterback and still have a good pass-rusher while simultaneously avoiding having to make any tough decisions about who to resign between Sweat and Young.
The Commanders are in a pretty similar situation with Gibson. Brian Robinson appears to be their running back of the future while Gibson is about to enter a contract year. If the Raiders aren’t going to bring Josh Jacobs back, adding another running back who can tote the rock and catch passes out of the backfield might pique their interest. Especially since the three-year pro will only be about a $2.75 million cap hit.
While Samuel is Washington’s next most tradeable player, Las Vegas would be better off acquiring more picks seeing as their receiving corps is already pretty strong with Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller.
Potential trade offers:
- 97 (3rd round)
- Chase Young and pick 150 (5th round)
- Antonio Gibson and pick 117 (4th round)
New York Jets
2023 Draft Picks: 13 (1st), 43 (2nd), 74 (3rd), 111 (4th), 143 (5th), 178 (6th)
Tradeable players: OT Mekhi Becton, RB Michael Carter, QB Zach Wilson
It feels like the Zach Wilson era is over in New York and the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, already said he’s willing to spend big on a veteran quarterback and that’s the missing piece for his team. So, Carr is definitely on the table, and the Jets are also picking in the teens which will make any trade-ups difficult.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Jets try to deal Becton this offseason regardless of whether or not they make a trade for a quarterback. Injuries have kept him to just one game over the last two years and the team was reportedly “frustrated” with him heading into training camp this summer. But, the soon-to-be 24-year-old has experience playing right tackle in college and might be worth taking a flier on if you’re the Raiders.
Cater is on better terms with Gang Green, but his contract is up after 2024 and they just spent a second-round pick on running back Breece Hall, making Carter somewhat dispensable. Again, with uncertainty surrounding Jacobs, adding another running back to the mix might be intriguing for Las Vegas.
Then there’s the aforementioned Wilson. Depending on how head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler felt about the BYU product coming out of college, they could use Carr to help find his eventual replacement. In this scenario, the Raiders could still go after a stop-gap veteran and wouldn’t have to use draft capital for a potential long-term solution. Also, Wilson would have a year or two to develop and mature.
Potential trade offers:
- Becton and pick 111 (4th round)
- Carter and pick 111 (4th round)
- Wilson and pick 143 (5th round)
New Orleans Saints
2023 Draft Picks: 40 (2nd), 71 (3rd), 114 (4th), 146 (5th), 166 (5th), 228 (7th), 259 (7th)
Tradeable players: LB Demario Davis, G Cesar Ruiz, QB Jameis Winston
Andy Dalton is an impending free agent and head coach Dennis Allen seems to have no intentions of starting Winston, seeing as Dalton was the starter for the majority of the year even when Winston returned from injury. To make matters worse, New Orleans doesn’t have a first-round pick, so Carr reuniting with his first NFL head coach is certainly a possibility.
Granted, that could change depending on what the Saints get in return for Sean Payton, assuming Payton comes out of retirement and lands with another team. But for now, we’ll evaluate what assets they have and I’ll be honest, it isn’t much.
Davis has two more years left on his deal but is a big cap hit for New Orleans and they’ll get some relief by dealing him. He could fill a need for the Raiders and is still playing at a high level, but do they really want to bring in an expensive 34-year-old linebacker?
Ruiz would also fill a need but is much younger as he’ll turn 24 in June. He’s set to enter a contract year unless the Saints pick up his fifth-year option, but they’ve been in cap hell for the last few years and enter the offseason about $60 million in the red. Getting in the black will mean New Orleans has to start offloading assets or restructuring contracts, and the latter will eat into their 2024 money and would just prolong their problem.
Then there’s Winston who could come to Vegas on essentially a one-year “prove it” type of deal. The organization could still draft a quarterback and have the rookie sit for the time being, and if Winston doesn’t work out, nothing is holding the Raiders to him beyond this year.
Potential trade offers:
- 71 (3rd round)
- Ruiz and pick 114 (4th round)
- Winston and pick 166 (5th round)
So, there are nine offers on the table. Which one do you like the most?