Derek Carr To Patriots? Certainly Not For Raiders’ Reported Asking Price

The Raiders reportedly are asking a lot for Derek Carr

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The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly want to hop onto the quarterback carousel, as well.

The Raiders are expected to “field calls” for quarterback Derek Carr, “several NFL insiders” told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore. The Raiders’ asking price would be two first-round picks, according to Bonsignore. And then the Raiders would swap those, along with two more first-round picks, for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to those industry insiders.

There are some flaws in this scenario, namely, why wouldn’t the team trading two first-round picks for Carr just add two more to trade for Watson?

Also, Carr isn’t worth two first-round picks.

The New England Patriots are on the hunt for a quarterback for the second straight offseason, and Carr could possibly be a potential option but certainly not for anything close to that asking price.

No, the Raiders’ demands would have to be fractioned. Saying you’re willing to trade Carr for two first-round picks is a little bit like saying you’d be willing to sell your 2014 Honda Civic but only if someone was willing to pay $50k.

“OK, so you don’t actually want to sell your Civic.”

Carr has certainly proven he’s a starting-worthy quarterback, but he is what he is, and that’s a serviceable QB without a hint of much upside. He’s never thrown for more than 7.9 yards per attempt, and none of his play-callers have shown a willingness to let him do much more than dink-and-dunk down the field.

Over the last three seasons, Carr ranks 28th out of 32 qualified quarterbacks in air yards. He’s 17th in EPA (expected points added) per play, 14th in success rate and third in CPOE (completion percentage over expected). Keep in mind that his EPA/play, success rate and CPOE are coming while he’s ranking 28th in air yards.

Carr did take a step forward in 2020. He was eighth in EPA/play and success rate, ninth in CPOE and 11th in air yards. But it feels like the Raiders are selling high after their QB’s best season and expecting the moon. He’s an average-to-below-average starter.

Carr would be fine for the Patriots. He’s not worth as much as Matthew Stafford, who was dealt for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and quarterback Jared Goff. And Stafford only garnered so much because the Detroit Lions were willing to take on Goff’s salary.

Carr, 29, is more durable and maybe a slightly better quarterback, but he’s more on Jimmy Garoppolo’s value level as it relates to the Patriots. Garoppolo, 29, is probably worth more to the Patriots than he would be to any other team because he comes in with knowledge of the offense, and we know New England likes him and tried to hold onto him for as long as possible before dealing him to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

The Patriots’ dream scenario would be to land Watson or Dallas Cowboys free-agent QB Dak Prescott but both seem like longshots. Garoppolo is an option if he becomes available, and Carr’s a possibility if that asking price gets significantly lowered if only because the Patriots NEED a quarterback. The top free agents are Cam Newton, Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mitchell Trubisky and Jameis Winston. Alabama’s Mac Jones could be available with the Patriots’ No. 15 overall pick.

The Patriots have to do something at quarterback, and there are plenty of options riding around that carousel. At some point, the Patriots have to hop on a horse. Do we have the analogy right?

Ryan Newman
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