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Which teams would Derek Carr make significantly better?

Derek Carr
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

After spending the first nine years of his career with the Las Vegas Raiders, Derek Carr’s time with the organization could be coming to an end. Going into Week 17, it was reported that Carr would not finish out the season as the Raiders starting quarterback. First-year head coach Josh McDaniels explained why the reason why the decision was made.

“We’re going to go ahead and start Jarrett [Stidham] the last couple games of the season here. You know, none of us is happy with where we’re at. But we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play. Talking to Derek, who was great, he understands the scenario that we’re in, the situation, and [is] very supportive of the two young guys. … He’ll do anything he can to help them. So, that’s what we’re going to do.”

A few days after the decision was made, it was reported that Carr had decided to step away from the organization. Those optics indicated that he knows that his time with the franchise is on shaky ground. If the Raiders decide to move on from Carr, they must do so expeditiously. The organization must decide what they will do with Carr before February 15, which is three days after the Super Bowl. On that day, Carr’s $40.4 million dollar portion of his contract becomes guaranteed to him. The three-year $121.5 million contract extension he signed last spring was little more than a one-year deal.

The contract was basically set up as a one-year audition to determine if the new regime would move forward with Carr as their guy under center. The Raiders could release Carr prior to the February 15 deadline and would only be on the hook for $5.6 million in dead money according to Spotrac. There’s also a no-trade clause in Carr’s contract that would allow him to dictate where he wants to play next season. The Raiders are also not ruling out the idea of the veteran QB returning to the team next season, but the possibility of it happening is slim. Let us look at five teams that the three-time Pro Bowl QB would make significantly better in 2023.

1. New York Jets

Even though, they will miss out on the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year, the New York Jets saw significant growth under head coach Robert Salah. The team went from a 4-13 record in 2021 to 7-9 as the 2022 campaign comes to an end. The Jets have three cornerstone players in Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Breece Hall, that are all on rookie deals right now. Adding Carr to the fold would increase the Jets chances of getting back to the playoffs and possibly win the AFC East division.

2. Miami Dolphins 

While Tua Tagovailoa has shown major improvement under the guidance of new head coach Mike McDaniel, the former Alabama star, has battled several injuries this season. Should the Dolphins front office be confident in running it back with Tagovailoa for another season? Their window is wide open when it comes to contention in the AFC right now. Bringing back an injury-riddled player such as Tagovailoa could hold them back.

They have shown that they can go toe-to-toe with teams in the division such as the Buffalo Bills. The roster also contains elite playmakers on both sides of the football such as Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Xavien Howard, Mike Gesicki, Terron Armstead, Jaelan Phillips, and Christian Wilkins. With the addition of Carr, it would give the Dolphins more than a punchers chance of dethroning Buffalo in the AFC East and become a dominant force throughout the conference.

3. Carolina Panthers

Since parting ways with star QB Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers have made numerous attempts to find his replacement. They have failed to do so at every option that has been available. Are they willing to try again or will they utilize the route of the NFL Draft? Based on the current draft order, the Panthers are slotted to pick at nine. By that time, quarterbacks such as Will Levis, CJ Stroud, or Anthony Richardson may not be available. Team owner David Tepper has made it clear that he believes the Panthers have a roster that is ready to contend right now.

4. New Orleans Saints

Without question, Saints head coach Dennis Allen is one of the National Football League’s top defensive minds. However, the biggest hurdle that the Saints are facing in the post Sean Payton/Drew Brees era is not having viable option at the quarterback position. Current starter Andy Dalton has performed relatively well during his time under center, but he has significant limitations. Even with their miscues on offense this season, a new crop of talent has emerged for New Orleans.

Players such as Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, and Juwan Johnson are individuals that the team can build an explosive offense around. Will that be enough to attract a talent like Carr? New Orleans and Carolina could be a quarterback away from running away with what looks to be a very weak NFC South in 2023.

5. Washington Commanders

Inept quarterback play has prevented the Washington Commanders from joining the other three NFC East teams in the playoffs this season. Even the quarterback that they acquired from the Colts, Carson Wentz has not worked out. The presence of Carr on the Commanders roster would be a significant upgrade over in any QB that is on the depth chart right now. Carr would be joining a squad that has dynamic playmakers such as Terry McLaurin, Brian Robertson, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas, and Jahan Dotson.

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Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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