With Derek Carr gone, who will Raiders flip to at quarterback? – Las Vegas Raiders Blog

HENDERSON, Nev. — Now that Derek Carr has been lower by the one NFL group the veteran quarterback has ever identified, the place do the Las Vegas Raiders go from right here?

These waters have not been navigated not too long ago by the franchise, which has had Carr as its main starter since he received the job as a rookie in coaching camp in 2014. Consider: Carr has solely missed two regular-season video games and one playoff recreation resulting from damage since — changed by Matt McGloin within the 2016 finale after Carr suffered a damaged proper ankle, and by EJ Manuel in Week 5 of the 2017 season after Carr suffered damaged bones in his again the week prior. And it was Connor Cook who began the 2016 wild-card spherical playoff recreation at Houston whereas Carr was recovering from surgical procedure.

So whereas these are uneven waters for the Raiders, their compass ought to level to one in every of two locations — land their Moby Dick, a high-priced, future Hall of Famer who will deliver his personal set of luggage, or play it secure and signal somebody who already is aware of the system whereas gazing towards the long run.

One Moby Dick risk was Tom Brady, who was scheduled to turn out to be a free agent. He as an alternative retired, seemingly forcing the Raiders to pivot.

So, sure, Aaron Rodgers is now that large whale, the one which acquired away again in 2005 when the Raiders drafted cornerback Fabian Washington at No. 23 total, one choice forward of Rodgers, who went to the Green Bay Packers. Acquiring Rodgers, who will even reportedly be focused by the New York Jets, can be expensive. And not simply in draft capital and/or established gamers. Per quite a few studies, Green Bay may command as a lot as a first-round and a conditional third-round choose that would flip right into a second-rounder. The Packers have been additionally reportedly extra than excited by tight finish Darren Waller on the commerce deadline this previous season.

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And that is simply to finish the commerce and would not account for Rodgers’ wage or cap numbers. Rodgers signed a three-year, $150 million extension final March that included two voidable years, in 2025 and 2026, and has a $58.3 million possibility bonus for 2023 that’s absolutely assured, per ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky. The possibility could be exercised by the Packers anytime between the primary day of the 2023 league 12 months March 15 and the day earlier than the Packers’ first recreation of the season.

And as a result of the choice makes up most of Rodgers’ pay, which totals $59.515 million for this 12 months, its timing is essential as a result of Green Bay undoubtedly would need the group that acquires him to pay it. Rodgers additionally has a non-guaranteed $49 million due in 2024.

As it stands now, Rodgers has cap numbers of greater than $31.6 million for 2023 and $40.7 million for 2024, per ESPN Stats & Information analysis.

That’s rather a lot to pay even for a four-time MVP however particularly for a man turning 40 earlier than the top of subsequent season who’s coming off a nasty 12 months — his 39.3 complete QBR was a profession low as a starter, as have been his 3,695 passing yards for a full season. Throw in the truth that Rodgers is as headstrong as he’s gifted and has no expertise in Raiders coach Josh McDaniels’ system and you need to surprise if they’d mesh.

Still, Rodgers can be reunited with All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, who has advocated the opportunity of Rodgers coming to Las Vegas, as have Waller and All-Pro operating again Josh Jacobs, who can also be a pending free agent after the Raiders declined his fifth-year possibility final offseason.

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It’s rather a lot to spend on what may solely be a two-year association in a division that has the defending Super Bowl champs within the Kansas City Chiefs, one other playoff group with a younger franchise quarterback within the Los Angeles Chargers and a Super Bowl-winning coach in with the Denver Broncos. Money that, many would say, could possibly be wiser spent by the Raiders on beefing up the protection and the offensive line whereas defending as much as 11 draft picks, together with the No. 7 total choice.

That would imply going cheaper, less expensive, than Rodgers at QB and going after a free agent — no have to commerce belongings this route — maybe somebody who’s already conversant in McDaniels’ system.

Jimmy Garoppolo may be seen as a lateral transfer from Carr by many however he grew up in McDaniels’ system with the New England Patriots — although he final performed in it in 2016 — and, properly, he wins. Garoppolo’s profession file of 40-17 as a starter dwarfs Carr’s 63-79 mark. Durability can be the principle subject however Garoppolo, who has missed 28 video games the previous three seasons, mustn’t command the $40.4 million in money the Raiders saved themselves by slicing Carr. Las Vegas may then assault the O-line and protection whereas re-signing Jacobs.

Then there’s backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who went toe-to-toe with the NFL’s No. 1 protection in his first NFL begin after Carr was benched and left the group, passing for 365 yards and three landing passes in a 37-34 time beyond regulation loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Then he threw an early scare into the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs.

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If nothing else, Stidham supplied a template whereas wanting extra snug in McDaniels’ system in two begins than Carr did in 15. Stidham, although, can also be hitting free company and acquitted himself properly, particularly within the Raiders locker room. He would come at a fraction of the price of both Rodgers or Garoppolo and there can be no studying curve since he is already as well-versed within the offense as he’s identified by his teammates.

The wild card, then, is that this: With that No. 7 choose, and presumably as many as 11 complete alternatives, will the Raiders fall in love with any of the highest three QB prospects — Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young or Kentucky’s Will Levis — sufficient to maneuver themselves to draft one in every of them? Moving on from a longtime vet and drafting Tim Tebow didn’t go properly for McDaniels in his final head-coaching cease in Denver. Or do they go the bridge route, with a extra closely stocked and better-regarded QB class coming in 2024?

Whichever path the Raiders take this offseason will present a clue.