Las Vegas Raiders: Darkhorse trade destinations for Derek Carr
New England Patriots
The next team on the list is one that narrowly missed out on the playoffs this year largely due to an incredible last-second loss to Derek Carr and the Raiders. The New England Patriots also missed the playoffs for the second second time in three seasons and much of that had to do with the play of the quarterbacks.
Mac Jones was terrible this season and was outplayed by backup rookie Bailey Zappe when he was inserted into the lineup. The Patriots may look at the season as an aberration for Jones considering the strange situation they had with the office of coordinator, or they may look to upgrade by acquiring Derek Carr.
The Patriots were reportedly interested in Carr a few seasons ago so the front office may appreciate his talents more than the Raiders brass. Carr would have the benefits of playing for the greatest coach of all time and a team that almost always has a top-tier defense including this season where they were 5th in points allowed.
The concern for Carr would be the lack of elite weapons on offense, though the Patriots seem to always have a powerful running game that he can lean on. Playing in cold weather for much of the season may also be a concern for him, but if he is supported by a top-five defense he may overlook that.
The Patriots are scheduled to have over $50 million in cap space next year so they can absorb his contract, but it would be out of character for them to pay that much for a single position, even quarterback. If Carr’s primary concern is winning, then he would do everything he can to get to New England.
This is a team that is competitive no matter who is at quarterback and he would represent a clear upgrade over both Mac Jones and Zappe. Josh McDaniels and Dave Zeigler may be enticed by this deal because they could get Mac Jones in return who McDaniels was a big fan of last year.
It would be a great irony if the Raiders’ all-time leading quarterback ends up in a Patriots uniform, but considering the current links between the two franchises, it makes more sense than you think. The AFC East is one of the more competitive divisions in football but playing for Bill Belichick may make it worth facing those tough teams twice a year.