The Las Vegas Raiders have been receiving inquiries about quarterback Derek Carr. So far, they have displayed no interest in trading him, but they should be averse to doing it if it helps them get better.
Why aren’t the Raiders listening to offers?
David Carr of NFL Media recently said at least four teams have asked about the Raiders quarterback availability via trade. He adds that they all have been shut down and Las Vegas isn’t interested in moving on from him. He later says that it would take a lot to pry away the younger Carr from head coach Jon Gruden.
It seems like the Raiders haven’t gotten an offer to their liking. However, they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a potential trade this offseason if they can get a good return for their quarterback. Ever since last year, there have been rumors about Carr being shopped and this could finally be the year Las Vegas moves on from him. It would only make sense to trade ‘4’ if they will upgrade their quarterback position. Coincidentally, there will be many enticing options this offseason.
Deshaun Watson formally requested a trade from the Houston Texans. Also, the 2021 NFL will feature a deep quarterback class. If the Raiders pursued Watson, they could use the salary they had earmarked for Carr this season and pay the Clemson product. On the other hand, they could draft someone and allocate his salary to other position groups.
What about the defense?
You could argue that the Raiders’ biggest priority this offseason is fixing the defense and that it doesn’t make sense to shop Carr when there are other more pressing concerns. Nevertheless, this is not an either-or proposition. This Las Vegas team can take care of their defense and give the quarterback position a boost in the same year.
Carr had arguably his best season in 2020, but Watson is the better player, which explains why he may fetch three first-round selections. Although the cost of trading may seem prohibitive at first, the Raiders haven’t done exactly a good job selecting players in the first round. For that reason, it would be wise to exchange draft picks for a proven player in Watson. They could then cut a few players to make enough cap room and sign a couple of free agents.
Trading Carr may not be a popular opinion. After all, he’s not the reason why the Raiders have made the playoffs just once in the last 18 years. Nevertheless, if they can improve by trading him, they should do it. Isn’t that the goal for every team every offseason?
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