The Las Vegas Raiders released veteran quarterback Derek Carr earlier this week, creating a massive void atop the depth chart. Aaron Rodgers is a popular choice to replace Carr in the Silver and Black, but the front office would be wise to look elsewhere â€” and here’s why.
1. NFL Draft Pick Compensation
Any potential trade for Aaron Rodgers likely begins with a first-round selection on the table. For the Raiders, that would be No. 7 overall in this year’s draft. Perhaps the Packers could be swayed into a 2024 first-rounder, but with Jordan Love’s rookie deal expiring soon, they’ll surely want a pick that is available immediately.
The Raiders’ second-round pick (No. 39) holds value, but would the front office pair it with the 2024 first-round pick to secure Rodgers? While possible, it seems awfully pricy for a group that just won six games last season. Rodgers would elevate the Vegas offense, but there is not enough defensive talent rostered to justify such a trade package.
2. Salary Cap ImplicationsÂ
Trading for Rodgers is more feasible than once thought, as the team acquiring the future Hall of Famer would inherit the remainder of the contract he signed with Green Bay last offseason. In doing so, the Raiders could stretch his $58.3 million in 2023 across the next four offseasons, dropping his salary cap hit to a reasonable $14.575 million per year.
While this sounds manageable, it is a risk for the Raiders for a few reasons. First, it would still eat up roughly one-third of the team’s available cap space this offseason. For a roster that lacks talent in other areas, the addition of Rodgers is not enough to cover the holes.
On top of that, Rodgers’ contract mirrors Derek Carr’s. If things go south, the Raiders would have minimal leverage in finding a trade for Rodgers next offseason, as his 2024 salary becomes guaranteed three days after the Super Bowl. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Rodgers brings a considerable upgrade at quarterback over Carr but has as many (if not more) questions surrounding him. If the decline Rodgers witnessed in 2022 is a sign of things to come, Vegas could find itself in the same position next offseason â€” this time without the draft capital it used to acquire the signal-caller.
3. Rodgers’ Non-Committal Attitude Toward His NFL Future
Rodgers is often vocal about his uncertainty when the future comes up. He already toyed around with retirement in each of the last three seasons; would the Raiders want to commit to someone who could decide to retire at any point?
Before retiring, Tom Brady was a name floated around as the next quarterback for Vegas. The difference between Brady and Rodgers hinges entirely on the draft pick compensation it would take to acquire Rodgers. Imagine the front office sends No. 39 in this year’s draft and a 2024 first-rounder, but Rodgers decides to hang it up after one season with the Raiders.
It would be an unmitigated disaster. The upside of Rodgers is enticing, but the downside to a potential trade is too glaring to ignore. The Raiders would be better set for the future by using those picks to move up for a rookie quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. The roster is not ready to contend for a title next season, even with Aaron Rodgers behind center.
It’s official: Derek Carr has been cut from the Las Vegas Raiders
*Top Photo: Dylan Buell-Getty Images