The Las Vegas Raiders are currently exploring trade options for Derek Carr and the clock is already ticking. It’s less than a month before February 15 arrives and $40.4 million worth of contract guarantees kicks in for the quarterback. Trading Carr will prove difficult as he has a no-trade clause in his contract and can’t legally be traded until the new league year starts on March 15.
If the Raiders find a trade partner that Carr approves of, it needs to be a team that general manager Dave Ziegler will trust to not back out on the deal between February 15 and March 15. The team that would make the most sense is the Houston Texans. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler explained why Houston makes sense and an AFC coach is predicting that it’s going to happen:
Carr will be coveted due to the leaguewide demand, a situation that gives leverage to the Raiders, who must navigate Carr’s no-trade clause but will want to maximize value before Carr’s $40.4 million guarantee is due Feb. 15.
One veteran AFC coach points to Houston, where GM Nick Caserio has ties to Raiders GM Dave Ziegler, as a potential destination. Caserio and Ziegler have executed multiple trades in the past.
The coach elaborated on why Carr to the Texans is a strong fit.
“Nick will be looking for a high-character quarterback. That will be important to him,” the coach told Fowler. “Derek fits that mold.”
Would Carr Want to Go to Texans?
Carr has spoken fondly of the Texans in the past and even said he was hoping to get drafted there back in 2014. Though his brother didn’t have a great career there, the organization treated him well. However, Carr wants to go to a stable situation and compete for Super Bowls.
The Texans are about to hire their fourth head coach in four years and had the second-worst record in the league in 2022. The only thing appealing about Houston is that Carr would be able to return to Texas where he briefly lived while his brother played for the Texans. There aren’t many teams that are further away from Super Bowl contention than Houston. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Carr would waive his no-trade clause to play for the Texans.
Raiders Still Hopeful They Can Trade Carr
The Raiders still face an uphill battle when it comes to trading Carr. The quarterback has little incentive to help the team out in this situation. He could easily tell Las Vegas that they either have to pay or cut him and refuse any trade offers. Despite that, the Raiders are hopeful they can trade.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on a January 21 episode of “ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown” that team is expecting to be able to trade him. It’s possible that Carr is playing nice with the Raiders behind the scene. While he will likely still get a big contract if he becomes a free agent, his current contract pays him handsomely and he may not want to risk losing that. Regardless, the Raiders will do everything they can to convince him and a team that a trade is the best route. That won’t be an easy task to pull off.