Derek Carr‘s trade market is starting to move.
On Friday, the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback was given permission to speak with teams that 1) are interested in trading for him; and 2) have agreed with the Raiders on potential compensation, ESPN reported. This is the same agreement the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson had last offseason, which resulted in the blockbuster trade that landed the quarterback with the Cleveland Browns last March.
The Raiders must trade or release Carr by Feb. 15 — three days after the Super Bowl — or his contract will become guaranteed and Las Vegas will have to pay him $40.4 million over the next two years. Carr, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, told The Associated Press on Thursday he would not extend the deadline to help facilitate a trade.
“I don’t think that would be best for me,” Carr said.
One team that has openly admitted to being in the veteran quarterback market is the New York Jets, whose owner, Woody Johnson, described a veteran QB as the “missing piece” in a news conference last month.
Coach Robert Saleh took it a step further, saying the team already had a strong defense that nearly single-handedly carried the Jets into the playoffs this past season.
“We are going to be aggressive as heck when it comes to quarterback play, and making sure that we do everything we can to satisfy that position,” Saleh said. “Do I want to be as arrogant as to say I think this is plug-and-play where we’re going to get better? When you can run the ball, you have good special teams and you have a top-5 defense, you’re supposed to be in the playoffs.”
Whatever team acquires Carr will have to pay him a considerable amount over the next three seasons. His 2023 cap hit is $34 million and balloons to more than $43 million over each of the next two seasons.
The trade rumors around Carr began when he was benched for Jarrett Stidham with just two weeks remaining in the regular season. On Jan. 12, Carr posted a lengthy statement saying goodbye to Raider fans after nine seasons as their starting quarterback and cementing he was looking forward to playing for a new team.
“That fire burning inside me to win a championship still rages,” Carr wrote. “A fire no man can extinguish; only God. I look forward to a new city and a new team, who no matter the circumstance will get everything I have.”
Carr competed in the precision passing contest at Raiders headquarters as part of Pro Bowl festivities, and he finished with an event-high 31 points. When asked on ESPN’s broadcast whether he had ever been that hot in Las Vegas, Carr quipped: “Not that hot. Probably why I’m going somewhere else.”
Derek Carr from the top rope 😂 pic.twitter.com/IA4i4FJmpm
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) February 3, 2023
Carr finished the 2022 season with 3,522 yards and 24 touchdowns, but he led the league in interceptions (14) at the time of his benching. His 60.8 completion percentage was the second lowest of his career; only his rookie season in 2014 was worse.