Derek Carr gave all he had to Raiders Nation, battling each Sunday, and trying to make the most of the often talentless and poorly coached teams he was dealt with since getting drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 Draft.
Carr is the Raiders franchise all-time leading passer by a larger margin. His 35,222 career passing yards are 16,144 more yards than the second place quarterback, Hall of Famer Kenny Stabler. His 217 touchdowns are 67 more than Stabler’s 150 and he threw for 99 interceptions compared to Stabler’s 143.
So what’s missing? Well, despite those stats, Stabler was a winner, and Carr hasn’t been able to claim the same. Stabler 69-26 career record (with a Super Bowl win) is much better than Carr’s 63-79 career losing record (without even one playoff win). And that’s what ultimately matters to fans. They don’t care about your numbers as long as you deliver the W on the win column. Carr hasn’t done that enough times.
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Enter new coach Josh McDaniels, who’s coming off coaching the best quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady, on a Patriots team that has won more games the past 20 years than any other franchise. Initially it seemed that the two will mesh well, after bringing in Carr’s buddy Davante Adams from Green Bay in a trade, some even felt it is their division to win. However, after falling out of the playoff race with a 6-9 record under Carr, McDaniels decided to bench him, basically marking the end of his time in Vegas.
So where do we go from here? Carr signed a 3-year, $121.5 million deal last offseason, a deal that includes a no-trade clause for the quarterback if the team tries to move him. Given the timing of $40.4 million becoming guaranteed in his contract, it makes it unlikely for the Raiders to be able to trade him away in the offseason and a release is the more logical conclusion. Where will Carr land? Let’s take a look at his best options.
New York Jets
The Jets have “We’re a quarterback away” written all over them. They have an elite defense, a strong running game when Breece Hall is healthy, and very talented and young receiving corps. So why were the Jets eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday after losing 5 games in a row? They don’t have anything remotely close to a franchise quarterback.
After investing the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 Draft on what appears to be mega-bust Zach Wilson, the Jets had to turn to 27-year old backup Mike White to save their season, Mike delivered… for one game, against the awful Bears defense. But White wasn’t able to sustain that success over the course of the year and also got injured in the process. His last game basically sealed any chance he might’ve had to get starts next season, a 23-6 loss to the Seahawks on a 0 TDs, 2 INTs performance that pushed the Jets out of the playoff race.
With Carr providing enough offensive juice, the Jets might make a run at the division next season, having already beat the Bills once in 2022 despite the lack of good quarterback play to support the team overall. Derek Carr might be exactly what Robert Saleh’s team needs.
The Commanders Carson Wentz experiment has fallen flat on its face. Washington won more games with a career backup Taylor Heinicke, whom they already had on their roster, than the quarterback they traded multiple draft picks for in Wentz. For some bizarre reason, possibly not knowing they’re facing playoff elimination, Ron Rivera tapped Wentz to start in a must-win game against the Browns on Sunday and Wentz delivered one of the most sickening performances by a quarterback this season. 0 TDs, 3 INTs and 10 total points scored on the field.
Enter Derek Carr, whose career on the Raiders was filled with some of the worst defensive teams each and every season. That’s something the Commanders do have, they have a strong defense and good weapons for Carr to succeed with. The quarterback position has held them back. As a free-agent, Carr wouldn’t cost Washington more draft picks investment like Wentz and could bring some consistency for their offense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tom Brady era in Tampa Bay has been nothing short of remarkable. A free-agent at age 43, Brady brought home the Lombardi trophy on year one in Tampa. He set franchise record for touchdowns that year, only to break it again with a league-leading 43 the following season. On Sunday, Brady clinched the division with a win over the feisty Panthers and will lead the Bucs to the playoffs for the 3rd time in a row since joining the team.
However, the writing is on the wall that this is Brady’s last year in Tampa, he set himself up to become a free-agent once again this offseason and will either retire or join a new team, leaving the Bucs in search for a quarterback to replace him.
Derek Carr could benefit by the culture of winning that Brady brought to Tampa in recent seasons. While it’s unlikely Carr will match Brady’s lofty accomplishments as a free-agent quarterback signing with the Bucs, he’ll still have enough weapons around in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and others to find some level of success on a weak division that might not take more than 9-10 wins next season to win.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.