Four possible free agent destinations for Derek Carr

Feb 18, 2023, 8:00 AM | Updated: Feb 20, 2023, 7:21 am
Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates on the field after defeating the New England Patr...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates on the field after defeating the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Only a few days since being officially released by the Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr has garnered some serious attention around the NFL.

Thanks to getting cut, Carr can officially sign with a new franchise for 2023 at any moment, unlike most players having to wait for free agency to open up on March 15. And he’s already had two visits already, one with the New Orleans Saints before his “official” release and the other in the Big Apple for a visit with the New York Jets this past weekend.

New York will likely not be his final stop with an NFL franchise, looking to use his first time as a free agent to explore every option this spring. And with a head start on the rest of the QBs, he’ll likely find the perfect fit for 2023 and beyond.

Here are four other teams that could be in the running for Carr’s services.

New Orleans Saints

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and that’s just the case for the Saints’ interest in Carr.

Fun Fact: When Carr was drafted by the Raiders in 2014, guess who his head coach was? Dennis Allen, current head coach of the Saints. Although the past only teamed up for four games before Allen got the axe, the two bonded over their love for football, a relationship that carries over to the 2023 off-season.

Carr was in Louisiana last week, speaking with coaches and front office members about the possibility of joining the franchise. The veteran QB left the facility without a deal but New Orleans showed their cards, setting up a framework for a trade with the Raiders if the quarterback was open to it.

Long story short: He wasn’t. Carr declined all trade options to force Las Vegas into releasing him, allowing him to pick his next destination freely.

That shouldn’t deter the Saints from pursuing him furthermore, as Carr’s experience can be a welcome sight for a roster a few pieces away from contention. The biggest problem for New Orleans is the salary cap, stuck with a mess of big contracts this offseason.

If the Saints can move off some of the money (particularly paying $40 million over four years), then they can find a way to add Carr into the fold for next season and beyond.

Carolina Panthers

Another team in desperate need of a quarterback is the Carolina Panthers.

With the hiring of former quarterback Frank Reich as head coach, owner David Tepper made it clear that an experienced coach was needed in the building. Partially successful in Indianapolis, Reich had six QBs under center during his time with the Colts, averaging out to 1.2 new signal-callers a year.

Not great to say the least.

By signing Derek Carr, the Panthers would finally have an above-average player at the sport’s most important position. The last time they had that: Cam Newton.

Carolina will need to get creative with the cap though, already up against it due to big contracts on both sides of the ball. But if they can figure out a way to add the former Raider, the Panthers would be back in business in the NFC South.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders would be an intriguing option for Carr.

Amidst all the off-the-field drama, Washington has built a solid foundation on both sides of the ball, especially on defense. The combination of Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen has been a run-stuffer the last few seasons, giving the 49ers fits in 2022. The Commanders have pieces on offense as well, the best being wide receiver Terry McLaurin, making his first Pro Bowl this past season.

Washington’s biggest issue has plagued them for decades: Quarterback.

Taylor Henicke was a nice story, Carson Wentz’s best days are likely behind him and Sam Howell is still rough around the edges. The addition of Carr shows that the franchise is committing to winning with Ron Rivera at the helm.

But cap issues may be a factor as well, on the books for almost $14 million in dead cap in 2023. Already paying key players in previous offseasons, the Commanders’ front office will also need to be creative if they want Derek Carr.

Indianapolis Colts

This has been rumored for months, dating back to the midseason. And yet, it may be the most logical fit of them all.

Carr would be the ideal QB for Jim Irsay’s franchise, both on and off the field. A blue-collar prospect that has exceeded expectations with four Pro Bowl appearances. While this move may not excite Colts’ fans like tasing up in the NFL draft, Carr can get Indy back on track quickly.

The addition of Shane Steichen as the team’s next head coach is also encouraging, able to develop the likes of Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert over the past few years. It may be harder to reverse time, but if anyone can revive their career trajectory it’s Derek Carr. His comments at the Pro Bowl certainly make it seem like he has a chip on his shoulder, as Indy could be the perfect place for him to recapture the magic.

Stay locked in at Sactown Sports for all things NFL


Las Vegas Raiders

Travis Etienne Jr. #1 of the Jacksonville Jaguars rushes the football as Denzel Perryman #52 of the...
Joseph Jarosz

Report: Raiders lose linebacker Denzel Perryman to Houston Texans

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Denzel Perryman is expected to join the Houston Texans on a one-year deal.
16 hours ago
Rondale Moore #4 of the Arizona Cardinals makes the catch against David Long Jr. #22 of the Los Ang...
Joseph Jarosz

Las Vegas Raiders sign former Rams cornerback David Long Jr.

The Las Vegas Raiders announced Wednesday they've signed unrestricted free agent David Long Jr. away from the Los Angeles Rams.
16 hours ago
Fans cheer as Chandler Jones #55 of the Las Vegas Raiders scores a touchdown to defeat the New Engl...
Joseph Jarosz

Jakobi Meyers says he was humbled after crazy play in loss to Raiders last season

Before he signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers had a memorable moment at Allegiant Stadium last season.
2 days ago
Cam Sims #89 of the Washington Commanders reaches for a catches against D'Anthony Bell #37 of the C...
Joseph Jarosz

Former Washington Commanders receiver Cam Sims signs with Raiders

Cam Sims is the latest to join the Silver and Black. The team announced the signing Tuesday, however terms of the deal were not disclosed.
2 days ago
Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Jaquan Johnson #4 of the Buffalo Bills du...
Joseph Jarosz

Las Vegas Raiders sign former Buffalo Bills safety Jaquan Johnson

Safety Jaquan Johnson, formerly of the Buffalo Bills defense, has joined the Las Vegas Raiders, the team announced Tuesday.
2 days ago
Jordan Willis #75 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during an NFL divisional round playoff footba...
Amiliano Fragoso

Former 49ers DL Jordan Willis signs with Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders have added some defensive line help Monday, signing former San Francisco 49ers DL Jordan Willis to a one-year deal.
3 days ago
Four possible free agent destinations for Derek Carr