It’s already a forgone conclusion that the Derek Carr era for the Las Vegas Raiders will soon officially come to an end. Though the New Orleans Saints reportedly have interest in trading for Carr, a recent report indicates that it’s more likely the Raiders end up releasing him.
The report comes after Carr visited the Saints earlier this week.
“The Raiders finally relented on Tuesday, allowing quarterback Derek Carr to visit with the New Orleans Saints,” Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported. “The natural reaction to the news became wondering whether Carr might actually be traded.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, that still remains unlikely.”
When it comes to the Raiders’ apparent dedication to releasing their star quarterback, it seemingly comes down to financials. The Raiders will have to pay Carr just over $40 million if he remains on the roster on Feb. 15. The belief is that there simply isn’t enough time between then and now to figure out a trade with the Saints or any other NFL franchise.
“If Carr is on the roster as of 4:00 p.m. ET next Tuesday, February 14, he’ll definitely be on the roster as of Wednesday, February 15 — and he’ll therefore absolutely have $40.4 million in guaranteed salary vest,” Florio explained. “There simply isn’t enough time for everything to come together, especially with Carr knowing he’ll have a full month before the free-agency market opens to explore options if/when he’s cut.
“He needs to make more than one visit in order to pick his next team. He needs to have a chance to see what else is out there. To find out how much other teams will pay. To ideally leverage interested teams against each other in order to maximize his return.”
Obviously, the Raiders would love to get something back in exchange for Carr in an ideal scenario. It’ll be interesting to see if a team can get a deal done.
The Raiders’ reported demands don’t seem to be too high, but there are other factors that might stop a deal from happening.
Themes emerged from talks w/ teams on Derek Carr:
-Inquiring teams want to rework deal, which they believe Carr probably won't do
-Raiders' asking price modest. One NFL source said 3rd rd pick could get it done
-N.O. believed to be only team engaged to extent of visit as of now
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 8, 2023
If he is released, it will be interesting to see if any other teams in the NFL express interest in him. Given Carr’s track record, it seems likely that there will be other suitors.
Carr was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 2022 NFL season. It’s the fourth time that he’s earned such a distinction in his career.
During the 2022 regular season, Carr threw for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. While he is not thought of as a franchise-changing quarterback, he could certainly serve as a strong starter for a number of teams around the league.
The Saints were 7-10 during the 2022 regular season and just one game back from the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They did all that with pretty abysmal quarterback play.
It seems likely that the Saints front office believes Carr can make the Saints serious playoff contenders once again.