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Where Will Derek Carr End Up for 2023 Season?

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The market for free agent Derek Carr is picking up — Boardroom lays out the latest rumblings surrounding the former Raiders quarterback.

Ever since Derek Carr was released by the Raiders on Feb. 13, he’s become one of the most coveted QBs on the market with Lamar Jackson’s status in Baltimore pending and Aaron Rodgers recently emerging from his darkness retreat. In the process, Las Vegas saved $40.4 million before that part of Carr’s $121.5 million contract became guaranteed.

The four-time Pro Bowler finished his five-year, $125 million contract with the Raiders this past season, then inked a three-year, $121.5 million extension in April to ensure he’d remain in silver and black. Given how things panned out, Las Vegas should consider itself lucky that it negotiated a potential out after 2022 where the team would only incur a $5.625 million dead cap hit. If Carr either would’ve gotten hurt during the final two games of the past season or remained on the team after Feb. 15, his $33 million salary for 2023 and $7.5 million of his 2024 salary would’ve become fully guaranteed.

It’s a fresh start for both sides. The Raiders need a QB while their championship window is open, and ideally one that isn’t a lateral move in the post-Carr era. Jarrett Stidham is currently their starting QB (for now). As for Carr, things have moved faster as his reps prepare for a March 13 deadline — the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period or simply put, when other free agents QBs will be clear to talk with teams.

All said, he’d still be one of the most coveted QBs out there considering the market is relatively bare. And according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Carr is reportedly looking for a contract in the neighborhood of $35 million per year. Let’s see who might be shelling out the dough to nab the 31-year-old.

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New Orleans Saints

Carr got a head start in finding his new home with permission from the Raiders. He met with Saints head coach Dennis Allen, OC Pete Carmichael Jr., and others back on Feb. 9. Keep in mind — Allen was Carr’s head coach when he was a rookie in 2014.

While the injured Jameis Winston is still under contract for next season, New Orleans could elect to cut him and take on $11.2 million in dead money or keep him for $12.8 million and sign Carr anyway. Backup Andy Dalton is a free agent and he didn’t do much in his 14 starts (6-8).

New York Jets

The Jets are in hot pursuit of Carr and it appears the feeling is mutual. His brother, David, said on NFL Total Access that “Derek had a great trip” and that “he went there to get a feel for how they work, from the top down, and everyone he met — he knew he would love [head coach] Robert Sales… They hit it off, and they would love to work together.”

Hmm. The Zach Wilson era has already gone up in flames for Gang Green, and it appears unlikely that the second overall pick in the 2021 draft will remain on the team next season. With Mike White and Joe Flacco out of contract after the season, Carr might find himself playing at MetLife next year.

Still, questions were raised by the legendary Boomer Esiason on a WFAN segment this past Tuesday regarding Wilson’s future there and how Carr fits into the equation. “I don’t want to put words into Derek Carr’s mouth, but he certainly wanted to know what the idea and the future was for Zach Wilson. Like he should. He should go through everything that is on his mind and want answers to all these different questions.”

New Suitors?

The Saints and Jets appear to be frontrunners, but the race is far from over, especially as folks from both respective sides wait for Aaron Rodgers to make a decision on his future in Green Bay. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington and Jeremy Fowler reported on Friday that “three other teams have recently called and connected with Derek Carr.”

Keep an eye on teams that need a QB and aren’t necessarily in rebuild mode, perhaps the likes of the Buccaneers and Commanders. Others like the Panthers and Colts might be interested, too, but Indy has the No. 4 overall pick and Carolina has No. 9. Given how their 2022 campaigns went, it might be best if they develop their own through the draft.

There’s a major disparity between the elite, average, and bottom-tier QBs in the NFL. If Diana Russini is indeed correct regarding a potential $35 million/year commitment to Derek Carr, they ought to be 100% certain that he can be the guy. Las Vegas didn’t think so and they had more weapons than any of these teams can say.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.