Each year, the NFL Scouting Combine brings more than the top football players in the country to show off their skills. The combine is also known to be an event rich with rumors of discussions being held by team executives there, as it is a great time for said executives to thoroughly discuss or continue to discuss anything they may have been talking about beforehand, because they are all there together. Two of the most buzz-catching rumors out of this year’s combine are centered around the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, with Arizona rumored to be looking to select Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray first overall, and the Raiders said to be asking fellow NFL teams what they would give up for QB Derek Carr. This article will be tackling five teams that could really benefit from Derek Carr’s services.
1. Washington Redskins
Despite being really the only NFL team with a glaring need for a starting quarterback, the Redskins haven’t been immediately pegged as a destination for QBs in the center of these rumors as much as some would expect them to. Perhaps that has something to do with the giant question mark surrounding Alex Smith and his health. For now, at least, that giant question mark has Colt McCoy thought to be Washington’s 2019 Week one starter, which means trading for Derek Carr could allow the ‘Skins and their fans to take a deep breath, knowing that they have a talented and capable player under center, and an additional deep breath upon the realization that the aforementioned player is equipped with all the tools he needs to be the face of the franchise.
2. New York Giants
The Giants have been the source of a lot of frustration for fans that just want to see them do it right. The past few seasons have revealed that Eli Manning’s age is catching up to him, but the Giants’ brass evidently still sees a competent and productive starter in the 38-year-old. While Manning could still start for the G-Men and with all signs pointing in that direction, it wouldn’t provide the fan base with the excitement they’ve been longing for that stems from having an ultra explosive offense in the modern era NFL. New York is rich with talent on offense, having assembled an outstanding nucleus consisting of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley. New York is also getting better up front with guys like Nate Solder and Will Hernandez. This Giants offense has the capability that it needs to be one of the NFL’s high powered, virtually unstoppable offenses and compare to teams like the Chiefs, Eagles, Chargers, Rams, etc., but the lack of a young, electrifying quarterback is keeping them from getting over that hump.
3. Miami Dolphins
Miami has been the eye in a hurricane of QB rumors so far this off-season, ranging from the looming decision with Ryan Tannehill to hypothetical trade scenarios for the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen. As they continue to try to build a trade market for Tannehill, it does not appear likely that any team in their right mind would be willing to take on Tannehill’s massive contract, a deal that comes with a combined $46.9 million in salary cap hits over the next two seasons with $20.3 million in 2019 and $26.6 million in 2020, according to spotrac.com. As a result of that, it’s quite reasonable to expect the Dolphins to release Tannehill within the next week and ignite the search for their next quarterback. Said search for a new QB1 doesn’t have to last very long. Enter Oakland’s Derek Carr, who coincidentally knows recently hired Miami Dolphins front office employee Reggie McKenzie quite well, as McKenzie drafted him as G.M. of the Oakland Raiders 36th overall in 2014. Carr is a player that has performed considerably better than Tannehill has in five years as opposed to Tannehill’s six years as a starter (Tannehill missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL). Carr has thrown for 18,739 yards, 122 touchdowns and 54 interceptions dating back to 2014, as well as three Pro Bowl appearances, while Tannehill has 20,434 yards, 123 touchdowns and 75 interceptions since 2012, according to pro-football-reference.com. Carr would be giving the Dolphins a quarterback that makes better decisions and turns the football over significantly less, which the ultimate key to winning NFL football games.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars seem to have already figured out their QB problem for the foreseeable future, as they are expected to release Blake Bortles and ink Nick Foles to a deal at the start of free agency next week. If you’re the Jaguars, however, how do you say no to a competition for the starting job between Nick Foles and Derek Carr? It would be a fierce battle all the way up to the 2019 season opener, and it would give Jacksonville an opportunity to not have to worry about if Foles will work out, because they would have an alternative in Carr. Jacksonville has a history of having only one player to start at quarterback and not providing themselves with a fallback option if the experiment flops. Signing Nick Foles and swinging a deal to pry Derek Carr away from the Raiders would be the solution to that problem.
5. Tennessee Titans
If the Jaguars don’t make a move for Carr, their AFC South division rival should. Yes, I know Tennessee still employs 2014 second overall pick Marcus Mariota, but 2014 second-round pick Derek Carr has had a significantly better playing career. Mariota’s five NFL seasons have seen him put up subpar passing numbers, especially in today’s NFL where the air attack is predominant. Derek Carr has 18,739 passing yards to Mariota’s 12,004 and 122 touchdowns to Mariota’s 69. Mariota does have a slight edge on Carr in the interception category, however, throwing only 42 compared to Carr’s 54. Nevertheless, Tennessee should entertain this idea at the very least if nothing else, because it would present them with a scenario similar to Jacksonville’s, where they would have two capable NFL starting quarterbacks dueling it out for a starting gig in 2019.