Las Vegas Raiders: Darkhorse trade destinations for Derek Carr
The Washington Commanders had a similar season to the Carolina Panthers where they seemed like a quarterback away from being true contenders. After an up-and-down start with Carson Wentz at quarterback, they took advantage of a Wentz injury to plug Taylor Heinicke into the starting lineup and went on a great run.
They saw their playoff hopes dashed for good in week 17 after plugging Wentz back into the starting lineup and went with youngster Sam Howell in the season finale.
There are a few reasons why Washington is an intriguing destination, but the first is that they have a clear and easy path to having Derek Carr as the starting quarterback. In terms of cap space, they currently have $17 million slated in 2023 but that is before they make any corresponding moves.
Washington can move on from Carson Wentz with no dead cap in 2023 and Heinecke is a free agent after this year. They could even choose to bring Heinicke back as a backup and still make the trade for Derek Carr.
Washington has a slew of weapons on offense like Terry McLaurin, and Curtis Samuel, and two talented running backs in Antonio Gibson and Bryan Robinson. They also have a talented defense that ended up ranked 14th in the league in points allowed. That defense kept them in many of their games and allowed Heinicke to work his comeback magic at the end of games.
There could be some major changes in store for the commanders as owner Dan Snyder may be selling the team and it would not be surprising if Ron Rivera is let go after a disappointing season. This lack of stability in ownership and coaching may convince Carr that Washington is not the place for him and he could veto the trade.
On the other hand, a new ownership group may stick with Rivera as the head coach and look to bring in a stable, veteran quarterback to start a new era of Commanders football. They likely played themselves out of drafting a top-tier quarterback, so trading for Carr could help them convince season-ticket holders that they will compete in a difficult NFC East.