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Home » Options for the Raiders for a New Quarterback Following Derek Carr’s Release

Options for the Raiders for a New Quarterback Following Derek Carr’s Release

15 February 2023, Wednesday
Now that Derek Carr has been released by the franchise he has been with since his rookie season, the question arises as to where the Las Vegas Raiders will turn next. It is uncharted territory for the organization, which has had Carr under center since 2014, missing only two regular-season games and one playoff game due to injury in that time - the latter of which was replaced by Connor Cook in the 2016 wild-card round playoff game. During his absence, Matt McGloin and EJ Manuel stepped in for one game each in the 2016 and 2017 regular seasons respectively.

While the Raiders are navigating tumultuous times, their course should be heading in one of two directions-- either pursuing a high-profile and expensive Hall of Fame-caliber player with their own set of issues, or deciding to take the safe route and sign a player who is familiar with the system while also looking to the future. Tom Brady, who was initially a free agent possibility, ultimately retired, resulting in the Raiders having to adjust their plans.

Aaron Rodgers has become the "big whale" that the Oakland Raiders let get away back in 2005. It was in that year that the Raiders opted to draft cornerback Fabian Washington at No. 23 overall instead of Rodgers, who went on to be drafted by the Green Bay Packers. If the Raiders wanted to acquire the star quarterback now, it would cost them a pretty penny - likely a first-round pick and a conditional third-round selection, with the potential to upgrade that third-round pick to a second-rounder. The Packers were reportedly interested in tight end Darren Waller at the trade deadline this past season, indicating that they would be open to a trade for Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers would have to swing a massive deal to acquire the services of Aaron Rodgers. Not only would they have to give up a significant package of draft picks and/or players to the team who currently holds his rights, they would also have to take on his $150 million three-year contract extension, which includes two voidable years and a fully guaranteed $58.3 million option bonus for 2023 that can be exercised by the team anytime between March 15 of 2023 and the day before the Packers' first game of the season.

The timing of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' potential trade is critical due to the huge pay package he has, which amounts to $59.515 million this year. The majority of this sum is composed of one option; thus, the team acquiring Rodgers would most likely want to pay it. Stats Information has identified that his cap numbers for 2023 and 2024 are over $31.6 million and $40.7 million, respectively.

The Raiders' interest in Aaron Rodgers' services is understandable considering he is a four-time MVP, but his age (40) and an uncharacteristically bad year (a career-low 39.3 total QBR in 2020) raise questions about whether or not Rodgers would be a good fit for the Raiders. Moreover, Rodgers has yet to work in Head Coach Josh McDaniels' scheme, which could make the transition more difficult.

Still, Rodgers could find comfort in being reunited with his former teammate, All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. Adams has been an advocate of the move, as have Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. The latter is a pending free agent this offseason after the Raiders chose not to pick up Jacobs' fifth-year option.

It's a hefty price tag for a potential two-year stint in the AFC West with the reigning Super Bowl champions in the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Chargers boasting a young franchise quarterback and the Denver Broncos under the helm of a Super Bowl-winning coach. With the protection of up to 11 draft picks, including the No. 7 overall selection, many suggest the Raiders should be wiser in spending the money, such as beefing up the defense and the offensive line instead. An alternative option is to go with a much cheaper free agent quarterback that is already familiar with McDaniels' system, without the need to trade assets.

Jimmy Garoppolo could be considered a lateral move from Carr for some, but he is familiar with McDaniels' system as he had been part of the New England Patriots. His career-winning record of 40-17 as a starter towers over Carr's 63-79 mark. Durability could be an issue, though, as Garoppolo has missed 28 games in the past three years. The Raiders have saved the hefty sum of $40.4 million by cutting Carr, allowing the team to focus on the O-line and defense while they look to re-sign Jacobs.

Jarrett Stidham looks to have a bright future after going up against the NFL's highest ranked defense in his first out as a starter, after former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr left the team. Stidham threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns in a loss, but still managed to make an impression on the eventual Super Bowl winning Chiefs.

It's clear that Stidham is comfortable in the McDaniels system, and if the Raiders decided to stick with him, they would be getting a quarterback who already knows the playbook and would come at a fraction of the cost of either Aaron Rodgers or Jimmy Garoppolo. Not to mention that Stidham is well liked in the Raiders locker room, making him a solid choice for the position.

With the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and potentially as many as 11 picks overall, the Oakland Raiders face a tough decision: do they gamble on one of the top three QB prospects - Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Alabama's Bryce Young or Kentucky's Will Levis - or wait for a much-hyped class of QBs to enter the draft in 2024? For Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, there's a lot of risk involved in drafting a young quarterback, given his experience with Tim Tebow in Denver. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to go with one of these three QB prospects will come down to how much faith the Raiders have in them.

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