The NFL offseason started early this year and the Las Vegas Raiders should pay attention to what the rest of the league is doing. A week away from Super Bowl LV, the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions set off fireworks with a blockbuster quarterback swap. Detroit shipped Matt Stafford to Los Angeles for two first-round picks, quarterback Jared Goff, and a third-round selection.
It seems like it might be the year of the quarterback with some pretty big names still on the block (There’s still a signal-caller in Houston looking for a new home.) There are also a few teams at the top of the draft with gaping holes at quarterback and ample draft ammunition to spare.
With so many players on the move, it’s worth wondering how much Derek Carr would realistically command in a trade? Based on recent history, it might be more than you think. Let’s look at some recent quarterback, and other high-profile deals to set the benchmark for #4.
The Raiders should look at this list
Matthew Stafford to the Rams
Detroit received: QB Jared Goff, 2022 First Round Pick, 2023 First Round Pick, 2021 Third Round Pick
LA received: QB Matt Stafford
Two years removed from the Super Bowl, the McVay-Goff relationship soured and the Rams moved on. Two first-round picks is a premium for a quarterback approaching the tail-end of his career. Goff’s inflated contract played a role, numbing some of the pain for the Rams as they gave up an ‘all-in’ style haul.
Stafford has two years left on his contract: $20M in 2021 and $23M in 2022. It’s a fairly affordable contract similar to Derek Carr’s’ deal: $19.6M in 2021 and $19.8M in 2022.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers
New England received: 2018 Second Round Pick
San Francisco received: QB Jimmy Garoppolo
The New England Patriots sure love to trade their backup quarterbacks. A single second-round pick for Jimmy Garoppolo seemed like a fair deal at the time. After the San Francisco 49ers were able to parlay that into Super Bowl LIV, it seems even more so.
The ‘Pats’ were in a little bit of a bind, with Tom Brady still insisting on being the man in Foxborough. They were out-leveraged from the start. Kyle Shanahan came knocking for a young signal-caller to mold in his system.
Ultimately, Garoppolo wound up a high-floor/low-ceiling quarterback. Given Carr’s performance in Jon Gruden’s system, a second-round pick is almost unthinkable for a top-10 NFL starter. Then again, it’s not about who is selling but who is buying that determines fair value.
Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers
Miami received: 2020 First Round Pick, 2020 Fifth Round Pick, 2021 Sixth Round Pick
Pittsburgh received: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, 2020 Fourth Round Pick, 2021 Seventh Round Pick
Why examine a defensive back deal? It’s important to keep in context the average deal for a great young player that doesn’t play QB. We remember the Khalil Mack trade. That may not have been the norm, especially for a single defensive player.
Fitzpatrick is a stud on a rookie deal, and he made waves in Pittsburgh. He only cost one premium pick, and for good reason. Pittsburgh was bounced in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, largely in part to a collapse at quarterback play. If you’re going to pull the trigger on a high-cost trade, it needs to be worth it.
Patrick Mahomes to Chiefs
Kansas City received: 2017 10th Overall Pick (QB Patrick Mahomes)
Buffalo received: 2017 First Round Pick (27th Overall), 2018 First Round Pick, 2017 Third Round Pick
Given the results of the AFC title game last week, think the Buffalo Bills would have this one back?
In 2017, the Kansas City Chiefs jumped 17 spots in the draft to select the mercurial Patrick Mahomes with the ten selection. The Bills featured Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, who wasn’t terrible during his tenure in Buffalo.
The Bills even got cornerback Tre’Davious White with the 27th pick they received. They were still left without a game-changer at quarterback though. Buffalo then traded up in 2018 to select Josh Allen and set the stage for their ascent. For all the gains they made from the deal, they were jettisoned in resounding fashion by the Chiefs.
Trading Derek Carr
Proven NFL players command a higher price than draft talent. Proven NFL quarterbacks raise that price exponentially.
If the Raiders were to move on from Derek Carr in 2021, there would be a robust market for teams who are a cheaper quarterback away from contention. His contract is very affordable but will soon need an extension. Even an extension for ‘DC4’ should run under $30 million a year in an inflated free-agent market.
Here’s a list of teams who could take a big leap with Carr: Washington, Cleveland, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Denver, and Pittsburgh.
The Stafford deal is the closest to a Carr deal as we could see if the Raiders wanted to deal him. Detroit received two firsts and a former first overall pick for their 33-year old player on a comparable contract. It takes a team with Super Bowl aspirations to make a deal like that. Stafford is better than Derek Carr, but he is nearly four years older. As stated before, it’s all about the price a buyer is willing to spend.
With Carr not yet in his 30’s, a package including (1) first-round pick and (1) second-round pick for a quarterback-needy team would make sense. A trade for two firsts wouldn’t shock anyone, this is the highest impact position in sports. This of course would assume that the Raiders had a new plan at the position. Receiving a treasure trove of picks might help put together the type of package that could bring Deshaun Watson to the Silver and Black.
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