The Las Vegas Raiders and Derek Carr sent shockwaves through the NFL Wednesday afternoon that reverberated to the Jets facility in Florham Park.
With the Raiders announcing the benching of their longtime quarterback, questions have swirled about the team’s future with their franchise passing leader. Those questions will directly impact what the New York Jets do with their own quarterback problems in the 2023 offseason.
With Jarret Stidham being named the starter for the last two games of the season for Vegas, head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters Wednesday afternoon that “There’s a lot to be sorted through once the season is over.”
McDaniel’s words will send waves through each NFL franchise. After the season concludes, the Raiders have three days following the Super Bowl to potentially cut Carr and owe just over $5 million in dead cap charges. Compared to other quarterback dead cap charges being hit over the past three seasons, it’s as significant a cap number as the $23 million the Raiders would save by moving on from their top signal-caller.
If and when Carr becomes available, the Jets should, and probably will be one of the first teams to talk about the former second-round pick’s services. In nine seasons with the Raiders, Carr has totaled over 35,000 yards passing, 217 touchdowns with a completion percentage over 64%. He holds the Raiders’ all-time record in passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, and passer rating.
As the Jets continue to fight for their playoff lives with Mike White, they will also need to figure out what they do in the offseason with their quarterback position. A slew of reports has already confirmed that the team will look to part ways with second-overall pick Zach Wilson. That means the Jets will be looking to go into the 2023-24 season with Mike White, or a new quarterback to man a roster filled with win-now talent.
And while Mike White has been very solid in the spot starts he’s made, there’s one reason why Carr should be considered above all other players.
In nine NFL seasons, Carr has missed just four starts in his entire career due to injury. He’s been an MVP finalist earlier in his career and still can win big games when it matters most. White has shown a level of competence that the Jets’ faithful has rarely seen recently, but his inability to stay on the field is a major hindrance to his NFL viability as a starter.
Even Lamar Jackson, who would be a longshot chance for New York, has injury concerns far greater than Carr.
It only seems a matter of when and not if the Raiders move on from Derek Carr. When they inevitably do, there will be a wide array of teams that will be looking to acquire the pro-bowl quarterback.
If the Jets are smart, they will be at the top of that list.