How many times have we seen this show? Player X connected and speculated to the Raiders. Why? Usually, because he wants more money and our fans are desperate enough to get their hopes up and entertain the thought. Most of the time said player ends up back with their team or another team without ever seriously considering the Silver and Black. I don’t think Tom Brady will be an exception to this rule. I don’t care if he buys a house in the Silver State, starts eating avocados or anything else that might point him West. 

Assessment

Sure, Brady is the GOAT (As much as we hate to admit it). Yes, the team could easily be built around him since they have a quality running back, tight end, scrappy receivers, and speedsters. I know Gruden likes old guys. Shoot Brady coming might even reverse the Tuck Rule curse. However, that does not mean he is coming to Las Vegas.  Gruden has already gone on record saying he wants a QB who can sling the rock because he is tired of bubble screens. Do you think he wants a 40-something-year-old QB? That said, I don’t think that means Carr is safe either. In fact, the amount of QBs who could move is almost unprecedented. That’s why it’s hard to see them moving Carr though as well. If so many QBs with starting experience are available on the block or free agency, will someone give up a pick for D.C.? 

 

Let’s play a game… Derek Carr or…

Drew Brees

Four seasons with more than 5,000 receiving yards and one of the best QBs of his generation. Also, age 41 off a season where he missed time with injury. Credited with delivering New Orleans their only title as well as helping the community develop after Katrina. Do you really think he’s leaving Michael Thomas and New Orleans? Even if he did, I’d bet more teams would want his services than Carr. 

Tom Brady

Again, the name recognition and winning percentage alone is enough to edge him out as one of the best free agents. Do you think that Brady one, two or three-year rental outweighs whatever time Carr has left playing at his peak? Most likely or everyone wouldn’t be courting Brady to the Silver and Black already. 

Philip Rivers

Father time is undefeated. Rivers is off a down season but he still threw for more touchdowns than Carr ever has. He also threw more interceptions than Carr has ever too. However, Rivers has always been that guy who will take a shot and throw his team out of the game or throw them into the game. The 38-year-old Chargers actually appear planned to move on from Rivers so this is probably the only future Hall of Fame QB who actually gets free. Los Angeles is probably also looking to get a splashy name as they head to that new stadium. Either way, it’s honestly a toss up between Rivers and Carr. Carr probably has more value for his age and the fact he beat the Chargers and Rivers a few times. 

Ryan Tannehill

Another toss-up here. Tannehill is 31 and helped the Titans sure up a Playoff spot and ride to the AFC Title. I know he was inconsistent in Miami completing 63 percent of his passes and throwing 123 touchdowns to 75 interceptions. That said he threw 22 touchdowns to six interceptions, along with completing 70 percent of his passes. Those lines are on par with Carr, despite Tannehill not even starting the first quarter of the season. Not to mention, Tannehill helped the Dolphins make the playoffs a year ago too. All this might have a team that is a game manager away spend on Tannehill over trading for Carr. 

Cam Newton

This guy isn’t actually free but many people expect him to be. At 31 and in the final year of his contract, Newton could get cut with only $2 million in dead money. That’s unlikely to happen since he still has value as a dual-threat QB good for almost 4,000 passing yards and 400 rushing yards a year. The 2015 MVP has lead several deep playoff pushes too. After playing only two games last year, I fully expect Newton to be rested and motivated. Assuming he is healthy and available, Newton becomes one of the biggest fishes in the QB sea. I don’t care if he usually only completes less than 60 percent of his passes, Cam is probably still more valuable than Carr. 

Matt Stafford

Here’s another guy who isn’t actually free yet but could get free. Talk about Stafford leaving Detroit circled and then they got killed. Still, if there are whispers it is usually true. Last season was the first time Stafford missed time in almost a decade. It was a down year but he still had nearly a 4-to-1 ratio in touchdown-to-interceptions and completed over 64 percent on pace for over 5000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. Stafford lost the showdown to Carr but overall has shown more of a willingness to show off his arm strength and accuracy. Again, the edge does not go to Carr. 

Dak Prescott

Prescott is 40-24 as a starter. He threw for almost 5,000 passing yards along with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions after completing 67 percent of his passes and almost 4,000 passing yards last year. Not to mention the 1,221 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns over his four-year career. How is this guy going to get free and not get a franchise tag? Oh yea, Dallas is changing head coaches and got a few guys to pay. As much as it pains me to agree with Will Cain, I still have to go with Dak over Carr. Dak is two years younger too. 

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy took Carr’s stock as the No. 2 QB in the 2014 NFL Draft and he could take a desirable job from Carr this offseason if the Raiders move their QB. Bridgewater completed 68 percent of passes for 9 touchdowns and 1 interception over 5 starts. He was undefeated too which is enough for someone to pay him if the Saints don’t keep him. Ultimately, I’d take Carr over Bridgewater but it might depend on the scheme and fit. He has dealt with injuries but only threw over 3,000 passing yards once. 

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Jameis Winston

This one also depends on scheme fit and coaching. The tragic case of Jameis Winston is what it always has been. Dude threw for 5,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns but also threw 30 interceptions. He is 28-42 overall but thrown for over 4,000 passing yards in three of his five seasons. Carr has never thrown 5k and only passed 4k twice. He got close to 4k twice too. That plus fewer interceptions probably gives him the edge over Winston. However, it’s closer depending on the coach and scheme-fit. 

Marcus Mariota

Mariota hasn’t gotten better since his sophomore year as his passing has decreased every year since 2016. He went 2-4 as a starter, completing 59 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He can get you 300 rushing yards and is 26-years-old, for what that is worth too. I know there will be one coach who thinks they can take that and do something with it. Still, give me Carr over him. 

Joe Flacco

Three years with more than 3,900 passing yards, a 98-73 overall record as a starter and one Super Bowl season is probably enough to convince a coach that Flacco can be a bridge guy again. He is 6-11 in his last two years as a starter, battling injury and grooming his replacement. Flacco is 35 too so Carr is clearly the better value. 

Nick Foles

Then, there’s Nick Foles. The legend that brought Philly a Super Bowl and a playoff bid before going to the Jaguars and being mediocre. The 31-year-old might still get some looks like a bridge guy. He has 71 touchdowns to 35 interceptions while completing 62 percent of his passes. He was almost out of the league five years ago but is 58-48 as a starter. Again, I’m taking Carr but not by miles. 

Andy Dalton 

And I literally forgot about Andy Dalton. This 32-year-old QB is a three-time Pro Bowler with a 70-61-2 record. Dalton has two over 4k seasons and on year with over 30 touchdowns playing with quality receivers like A.J. Green. His future is probably as a backup or bridge guy. Dalton might actually do really well in that role. Still, he threw 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, completing less than 60 percent before getting yanked. Give me Carr every day. 

Blake Bortles

IF you read this far down, I might have to remind you that Bortles made a million dollars as the Rams backup. You don’t think there’s a team out there who would spend on him after a year under Sean McVay? Yeah right. Bortle looked bad the last time we saw him and he got worse every year after his second year. He never completed more than 60 percent of his passes but threw more than 20 TDs and 3600 passing yards three of his five seasons. Carr gets the overall edge but if the price is right I could see a team trotting out Bortles for the low. 

Others

And we can’t forget the guys who have started who probably won’t anymore. Your Case Keenum, Robert Griffin III, Blaine Gabbert and others are guaranteed to land some of those No. 2, be a mentor and show the young QB what not to do. Although, I would say Griffin probably deserves a second shot more than anyone else in the category. The point is, even teams looking for a quality backup might not send anything for Derek Carr. 

This doesn’t even encompass the QB class which is expected to have a few first-rounders and some potential steals falling into the later rounds. Plus, what if Matt Ryan gets available? He was one of the better QBs last year and has been an MVP caliber player but at what point do the Falcons embrace full rebuild?

Thought

Put it this way, if you loop in the Raiders, half the league could be looking for a new signal-caller this year. Even if the old guys (Brees and Brady stay) and the former No. 1 guys rumored (Stafford and Cam) don’t move, Carr would be the second-best QB available behind Dak? 

That’s being generous because he could be behind Tannehill, Bridgewater, Jameis or RIvers depending on the fit. Meaning Carr is anywhere from the second to 10th best QB to change teams if the Raiders decide to move on. Not including the other QBs with starting experience who could be available for less than Carr.

Does that mean Derek Carr has no trade value? 

Of course not, that’s why you are seeing him everywhere and hearing everyone talk good about him. Not to mention, Gruden could dip his hand into the trade or free agency market to find another veteran bridge starter or mentor for the team. Unless Carr is willing to mentor a young guy, we could ultimately see them ship him out for less than he is worth. Still, the saturated market might not get them what they want. The Raiders might have held onto Carr too long. Unless the Raiders really want to gamble on someone else or are willing to take a loss, Carr might be stitched to the Silver and Black another year.

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