As the NFL world converges on Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, so does the Derek Carr sweepstakes.
Carr is expected to meet with New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers at the combine on Tuesday, ESPN reported. Carr already met with the Jets and Saints, but Tuesday will be his first meeting with the Panthers.
During his combine news conference, Jets general manager Joe Douglas said New York’s first meeting with Carr was a “great visit, a very productive visit,” but didn’t get into if contract negotiations took place.
“Obviously with Derek, high-level producer, but really a phenomenal person,” Douglas said. “Just spending time with him, very authentic. Ultra intelligent. Very comfortable in his own skin. And highly competitive. On the tape, you see the talent, you see the release, the velocity, the way he gets the ball out, the decision-making, the accuracy, so a lot of things to like.”
The Jets reportedly told Carr during their meeting last week he could become “a first-ballot Hall of Famer” if he came to the Jets. The Jets already said this offseason that adding a veteran quarterback would get them to the playoffs.
Greg Jennings, a former NFL receiver and an analyst for The 33rd Team, believes the Jets are a good landing spot for Carr.
“I think the New York Jets are a perfect spot,” Jennings said. “When you think about what they have already on their roster, it’s ready-made with the insertion of a (quality) quarterback. The Jets wouldn’t have to give anything up; they can just acquire Derek Carr for whatever that contract will look like.”
New Panthers coach Frank Reich spoke to the NFL Network about meeting with Carr on Tuesday night.
“It went well. It is unique,” Reich said. “Derek having an opportunity, a situation which for a player doesn’t get any better than that. He gets to pick [his team].
“Our whole leadership crew had a great visit with him. No offer (was) made, just talking it through. Just wanting to hear from him, what he’s looking for. … We want to figure out: Is this the right fit?”
The only two quarterbacks on the Panthers roster are Matt Corral and Jacob Eason. Neither has made an NFL start.
The Panthers have the ninth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and The 33rd Team’s Scouting Department has them selecting Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson (scouting report) in its latest mock draft.
Carr’s visit with the Saints occurred before he was released by the Las Vegas Raiders, saving the Raiders $40.4 million over the next two years. Previous reporting indicated the Raiders and Saints had agreed to the framework of a Carr trade, but Carr wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause, forcing the Raiders to release him.
Carr has a connection to the Saints; he worked with Saints coach Dennis Allen when Allen was the Raiders’ coach in 2014. However, New Orleans’ cap situation could be a roadblock to a potential deal. The Saints are more than $30 million over the cap, according to Over The Cap.
Any contract Carr signs with the Saints would have to be preceded by a significant cap shakeup by general manager Mickey Loomis.