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Derek Carr’s future: Why Carolina Panthers could make sense

Outgoing Raiders’ quarterback could be good fit for NFC South team

Syndication: Beaver County Times
Derek Carr
Michael Longo/For USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to trade Derek Carr in the coming weeks and there will likely be a lot of interest.

There have already been reports that the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and the Washington Commanders are among the interested teams. But, there are a lot of quarterback-needy teams and the will be other franchises that pursue Carr as well. Let’s look at a team that could be a good fit for Carr and make sense as a trade partner with the Raiders by the February 15 deadline to make a decision based on Carr’s contract — the Carolina Panthers.

Why the Panthers would be interested in Carr:

The Panthers have been trying to figure out their quarterback situation for years. They have a decent nucleus and will likely want to add a veteran quarterback this offseason. They would probably feel like they could compete in the NFC South next season with Carr behind center. Tampa Bay won the division with an 8-9 record. Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans all finished 7-10. Carr could be a difference maker for the Panthers in the division.

Why Carr would be interested in the Panthers:

His older brother, David Carr, has said Derek will be looking for stability in ownership and at the head-coaching position. He would find that in Carolina. Owner David Tepper is one of the richest owners in the NFL and he’s not going anywhere. The team just hired Frank Reich as the head coach, so he has a leash. Carr would probably mesh well with Reich, a former NFL quarterback himself. Reich has had success with quarterbacks as both an offensive coordinator (Chargers and Eagles) and as a head coach (Colts). The Colts were rumored to have trade interest in Carr last year when Reich was the coach. Personally, Carr and Reich would probably hit it off as well. Both are deeply religious men. Carr, who has a no-trade clause, also might be attracted to the lifestyle in Charlotte where he’d and his wife, Heather, would be raising their four children.

What Carolina could offer the Raiders:

The Panthers have the No. 9 overall draft pick in the April draft. But they likely wouldn’t surrender it in this deal. But they do have two picks in the second-round (their own and San Francisco’s). They also have theirs and the 49er’s picks in the fourth round. So, there some room here to make a deal.


Again, there will be a lot of interest in Carr. But these reasons all point to the Panthers as being among the potential suitors for the Raiders’ nine-season starter.