A little background. I grew up in Fresno, CA. If you’ve ever been to Fresno then you know what I mean when I tell the people that haven’t been there, you aren’t missing much. A place known for Crystal Meth more than anything else has one shining bright spot. The Fresno State Bulldogs. Fresno State’s football success has come off the backs of one family. The Carr family. First David Carr carried the Bulldogs to a #8 national rating and was drafted 1st overall in the NFL Draft. Then came Derek Carr who dragged the Bulldogs, along with Davante Adams, to a #15 national rating. Therefore, being from Fresno, I have a special affinity for the Carr brothers. So you’ll forgive me when I get excited to hear that Derek may be available. Especially since my favorite NFL team sorely needs a QB.
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Derek Carr’s Availability
Whether or not Derek Carr is available by trade or free agency is based on what the Las Vegas Raiders think of Carr. It’s safe to say they don’t think much. Throughout the off-season and even during the regular season there have been whispers and rumors that the Raiders are looking to move on. Normally I wouldn’t place too much value in rumors and whispers but when they persist without much variation then the value of them increases. It is also well known that Jon Gruden and Mark Davis have increased interest in Tom Brady. That’s understandable. Brady is one of the greatest QB of all time. But that would leave Derek Carr without a job on a team-friendly contract that the Raiders would be looking to move.
It’s hard not to see a perfect trade partnership between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts. First, the Colts have a short-term and long-term need at QB that can be solved by Derek Carr. Carr will only be 29 years old next season and is signed through 2022. Carr, according to Spotrac, is due to make 21.5 million in ’20, 22.125 million in ’21, and 19.877 million in ’22. Derek Carr is 10th amongst QB in cap hit for 2020. In comparison, the Colts current QB Jacoby Brissett is 12th in QB cap hit with only $125,000 difference. Carr would solve the QB issue for at least the next three seasons.
Second, the Colts have the draft capital to make this move. The Colts have four selections in the top 75 draft slots in the upcoming draft. Two of those picks should be plenty to entice the Raiders to deal with the Colts when it comes to Carr. This trade would work well for the Colts too as they would get their franchise QB but they would also be able to trade Brissett to recoup some of the lost draft capital.
Is Derek Carr an Upgrade?
This is the ultimate question when it comes to the Colts. The Colts struggled in 2019 with Jacoby Brissett under center. While Brissett got off to a hot start, he withered as the season progressed after sustaining an injury. While the injury may have caused some of Brissett’s decline in the second half many wondered if Brissett was a franchise-caliber QB well before the injury. Regardless of an individual’s belief in Brissett, it is the Colts’ job to compare QB options to Brissett and make the best possible move. So, let’s compare Jacoby Brissett to Derek Carr.
|Derek Carr Adj. Stats (Avg. 100)||Jacoby Brissett Adj. Stats (Avg. 100)|
Those stats are jarring. Brissett is only two years younger so there isn’t much of a trade-off in age. The cap hit is near identical and Carr is signed for the next three seasons while Brissett is a free agent next year. The best part is Derek Carr did all of that with Darren Waller as his #1 receiver. Waller was the only Raider to top 700 receiving yards in 2019. It’s safe to say that Brissett’s receiving cast (Hilton, Doyle, Pascal) was much better than Carr’s (Waller, T.Williams, Renfrow). There’s no doubt that Derek Carr would be a massive upgrade for very little cost.
Make It Happen
The Colts need a QB and the Raiders have one they don’t want. Carr would bring a very valuable asset to the Colts and would vault them back into contention. Let’s not forget when Carr was surrounded by quality players, he led the Raiders to a 12-3 record in 2016 before he broke his leg in the last game of the regular season, playing the Colts. Carr has the talent to lead this Colts team into the playoffs and, if we are lucky, to something more. Plus, it would let this kid from Fresno cheer for one of his favorites once again.
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