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4 ideal Derek Carr trade scenarios from the Las Vegas Raiders

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Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2021-06-16

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr recently hinted that he’d retire if he got traded , but maybe he’d be better served on a different team. Let’s look at some ideal trade scenarios for the three-time Pro Bowler.

Derek Carr to Green Bay Packers

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Oct 20, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles under pressure from Oakland Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell (96) during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Packers get: Derek Carr, two first-round picks
  • Raiders get: Aaron Rodgers

You can bet that Raiders coach Jon Gruden would jump at the chance to acquire Aaron Rodgers no matter what the cost was. A couple first-round picks and an established QB in Carr seems like more than enough to pique the Green Bay Packers’ interest.

The assumption is that if Rodgers is out of Titletown, Jordan Love will step in to take over. While nice in theory, Love didn’t get nary any reps as a rookie in practice as the third-stringer, much less in a live, actual game.

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Rodgers’ holdout has helped Love gain some much-needed experience, but let’s be real: Love is supposed to be the long-term successor to Rodgers and Brett Favre before him. Talk about a couple tough acts to follow.

Even though the Packers’ roster has obvious shortcomings, they’re very much in Super Bowl-or-bust mode. You think Love is equipped to handle that?

At least with Carr, there’s been high-level production over the past two seasons and a sense that he could step into Green Bay and hold his own. Meanwhile, the Raiders franchise would get the spark they’ve desperately sought with Rodgers coming to Las Vegas.

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Derek Carr to Carolina Panthers

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Jun 9, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) and head coach Matt Rhule during OTAs at the Panthers Training Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
  • Panthers get: Derek Carr
  • Raiders get: DE Brian Burns, 2022 fifth-round pick

There was buzz around the 2021 NFL Draft that the Carolina Panthers might select a first-round quarterback despite already trading for Sam Darnold . That goes to show how serious this team is about getting a viable signal-caller.

Darnold is a dubious decision-maker and, in all honesty, doesn’t feel like face-of-the-franchise material. Carr is a more mature leader who can take charge of a locker room and would give Carolina the best long-term outlook in the NFC South at the most important position.

Think about it: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Tom Brady entering his age-44 season, Atlanta Falcons field general Matt Ryan has declining arm strength, and the New Orleans Saints don’t have a clear-cut Drew Brees succession plan.

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These young Panthers have a window of opportunity, and Carr is a safer bet than Darnold. If the Raiders would want Darnold back in the trade, that’s their prerogative, but they might be better off letting Marcus Mariota run the show in 2021 if Carr were to be dealt away.

Pass-rusher Brian Burns is someone Las Vegas would love to get back in a Carr trade. Pair him with Yannick Ngakoue, and the Raiders would have a truly dynamic duo on the edge of their maligned defense.

Derek Carr to Miami Dolphins

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Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Dolphins get: Derek Carr
  • Raiders get: CB Xavien Howard, 2022 second-round pick

Part of the reason the trade package for the Miami Dolphins is rather expensive here is that the Silver and Black would have the leverage.

Xavien Howard is holding out of training camp, and obviously wants to go somewhere he’ll get paid even more. Las Vegas has a dire need for a proven but still young cornerback in its secondary, and who better than Howard to fit the bill?

The Dolphins might be held back by second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa , who struggled to grasp the playbook as a rookie while draft classmates Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert thrived. That doesn’t bode well for Miami.

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Carr would probably love to go to a culture spearheaded by Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who’s essentially building his own southern version of the Patriot Way. He’d allow Miami to rely on Carr — Pro Football Focus’ ninth-best passer from 2020 — as opposed to an unknown, struggling youngster in Tagovailoa.

Derek Carr to Houston Texans

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Sep 20, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; NFL former quarterback David Carr (left) walks off the field next to his brother, Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) after the Bulldogs defeated the Boise State Broncos 41-40 at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Texans get: Derek Carr, 2022 first-round pick
  • Raiders get: Deshaun Watson

This may not seem “ideal” but if the Houston Texans want to distance themselves from Deshaun Watson as soon as possible, a trade to the Raiders may be the best way to do that.

Because of the off-field scandal surrounding Watson and his trade demand, Houston is in a difficult spot when it comes to finding a trade partner. However, Las Vegas has shown a willingness to roll the dice in the past.

Players like Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict have come and gone during the Gruden-Mike Mayock era. They also still employ Richie Incognito. Unless Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct proves to be as extreme and extensive as all the civil suits say, he’ll be eligible to play in the NFL again.

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Watson is the type of risk-reward move Gruden lives for. He also presents significantly more upside than Carr.

Since Carr is all about loyalty and is committed to the Raiders organization, if he were to go anywhere, Houston seems like a strong fit. His brother, David, was once a Texans No. 1 overall pick.

How cool would it be to see the younger Carr help to turn around the Texans? That’d be even more impressive than leading a winner in Las Vegas, considering Houston’s currently dire state of affairs.

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