If you think of the Las Vegas Raiders’ most pressing needs this offseason, quarterback will likely come last. That doesn’t mean the team can’t upgrade. In fact, that’s precisely what they would do if they traded for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
So what’s up with this trade talk?
The Raiders field could get calls from different teams to discuss quarterback Derek Carr’s availability, per Vincent Bonsignore of Las Vegas Review-Journal. This would in turn allow them to pursue Watson, who has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the Texans’ organization.
Bonsignore says this transaction would involve Las Vegas, Houston, and a third team. The Raiders would get two first-round selections in exchange for Carr. They would then put them together with their own first-round picks, for a total of four choices. That sounds like a hefty price to pay for Watson, but there may currently be only three quarterbacks better than Watson. Also, it’s better than the trade Pro Football Focus proposed, in which Las Vegas would trade Carr, tight end Darren Waller and two first-round picks for the Texans signal-caller.
Also, the price for a franchise quarterback isn’t always the same. The Los Angeles Rams just traded two first-round picks and Jarred Goff for Matthew Stafford. However, they also unloaded his awful contract as part of the deal. The San Francisco 49ers got Jimmy Garoppolo in exchange for a second and the Kansas City Chiefs traded Alex Smith for a third-round selection and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles received two first-round selections for Sam Bradford. Not every situation is the same, and it will be worth monitoring what teams offer for Carr and what the Texans ask for Watson.
Would the Raiders pull the trigger?
Carr will probably stay in Las Vegas. Last year, the Raiders were shopping Carr, but a trade never materialized. However, this isn’t close to a done deal and it will be worth monitoring until Carr takes a snap in the season opener. This is a fluid situation and things can change at any time. Once two parties are interested in consummating a deal, it will get done in a matter of hours.
Watson would certainly represent an upgrade over Carr. On the other hand, it wouldn’t make much sense for Las Vegas to acquire Watson if they need to part ways with a massive amount of assets. Then again, their track record drafting in the first round has been less than stellar, so it wouldn’t hurt them much with so many selections.
There’s no point in bringing the Clemson product if they aren’t going to surround him with talent. The Raiders could wait for the Texans’ starting price to waver, but they would run the risk of letting other teams get in front of them and winning the Watson sweepstakes.
The Raiders can stay put and go with Carr in 2021. They can use those picks they would trade to add reinforcements on defense. Keep in mind draft selections are not a proven commodity while Watson is a top-five quarterback. The ball is in the Silver and Black’s court.
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