The first domino appears to have fallen in Derek Carr’s search for a new team in 2023. There were few developments in Carr and the Raiders’ search for a trade partner until Tuesday, when NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport reported that the Raiders have given Carr permission to visit the New Orleans Saints. The visit will take place Wednesday.
There’s a lot to unpack with this development, but the most important point for the Raiders is that they may still be able to trade Carr and receive compensation, despite his release seeming like the most likely outcome since the end of his season with the team. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Raiders’ asking price is modest for the veteran quarterback. This is most likely due to the Raiders’ lack of leverage in the situation, as teams know that the Raiders will release Carr if no trade materializes.
As the Raiders have granted Carr permission to visit with the Saints, the two teams are likely to have agreed to trade compensation in advance. While that doesn’t mean a trade is imminent, it does mean that the Saints are serious about acquiring Carr’s talents.
While there is mutual interest between Carr and the Saints, the team would likely want to rework the deal that Carr and the Raiders agreed to last offseason, according to Fowler. That represents a big hurdle for not just the Saints, but all teams potentially interested in a trade. Carr would have to be sold on the Saints or any other landing spots to forego free agency, where he may have more choices with both his landing spot and contract terms.
The Saints present an interesting option for Carr, as there is an argument that they are one of many teams in the league who are a quarterback away from contention. However, Carr could be fool’s gold for the Saints, as his decline in play in 2022 could be a sign of things to come for the veteran quarterback. The Saints have had a revolving door at quarterback since Drew Brees’ retirement and have found little success in their attempts to replace him. Carr’s arrival in New Orleans could answer New Orleans’ quarterback issues, but it would still be a big gamble considering the amount of veteran quarterbacks that will likely become available this offseason.
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