Derek Carr

Weighing up the leading candidates to sign Derek Carr in 2023 NFL free agency

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Given the unique circumstances surrounding Derek Carr’s free agency in 2023, he figures to be the first domino to drop in this year’s quarterback shuffle.

After being released by the Raiders, Carr is now one of the best free agents available among quarterbacks this offseason. Naturally, this has created a lot of speculation about Derek Carr’s next team.

Derek Carr free agency 2023

While there are some obvious options, Derek Carr’s free agency in 2023 is bound to be an interesting saga and one of the toughest NFL offseason predictions to make.

After all, he’s a proven quarterback and a former Pro Bowler, so there could be more than half a dozen teams with a genuine interest in him. Before Derek Carr’s free agency in 2023 gets too crazy, let’s take a closer look at the top candidates to be Derek Carr’s next team.


While Carr didn’t want to be traded to the Jets, he did pay them a visit soon after becoming a free agent, so Gang Green must be a realistic option for him. The Jets have only had two years with Zach Wilson but already look inclined to move on from him with Wilson going 8-18 and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns during his young career.


As a California native, playing in New York might be a little bit of a culture shock for Carr, which could steer him away from the Jets. On the other hand, with Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, the Jets have an intriguing set of skill players that could help to lure Carr to the Jets.


It’s been a bit of a disaster for the Saints at quarterback since Drew Brees retired. Having two backup-caliber quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton didn’t work out for them in 2022, putting them in the market for a quarterback. Keep in mind that the rest of the NFC South has questions at quarterback with Tom Brady retiring, so now could be the time to take a chance on a proven quarterback like Carr, perhaps allowing the Saints to catapult themselves to the top of the division.

There is bound to be personnel turnover in other ways on the New Orleans offense, so Carr may not have a good idea of who will be around him in New Orleans. However, it would reunite him with Dennis Allen, who was with the Raiders when Carr was drafted.


The Commanders certainly seem to be at a crossroads at quarterback. It’s unlikely that Carson Wentz will get another chance while Taylor Heinicke should be considered a good backup rather than a long-term answer as a starter. That’s why Washington has Sam Howell at the top of the depth chart heading into the offseason.

Of course, Howell is largely unproven, and with the no. 16 overall pick in the draft, the Commanders are unlikely to draft a rookie who’s ready to start right away. At the same time, the Commanders need to recognize that the other three teams in the NFC East all made the playoffs this past season.


In other words, Washington will have to do something bold to become a playoff contender. That should increase the urgency the Commanders have to sign Carr, who would have an underrated set of receivers to work with in Washington.


Heading into the offseason, it’s anybody’s guess who will be Carolina’s quarterback in 2023. They drafted Matt Corral in the third round last year while the no. 9 overall pick gives them the option of drafting a quarterback with first-round talent.

There is also a chance for the Panthers to consider Carr or another free agent. Much like the Saints, Carolina must realize that adding a proven quarterback like Carr could make the Panthers the team to beat in the NFC South. The caveat is that the Panthers don’t have the most enticing set of skill players at the moment, so Carr may not feel that going to Carolina gives him the best chance to play for a winning team.


Does Carr want to sign up to be Tom Brady’s success in Tampa? In theory, Carr could be considered an upgrade over the 2022 version of Brady, which was still enough to get the Bucs to the playoffs.

Other than Kyle Trask, who has nine career pass attempts, the Bucs don’t have any quarterbacks on their roster. With the no. 19 overall pick, they aren’t exactly poised to draft one of the top options available in the draft.

Tampa’s problem is that there are a lot of key defensive players hitting free agency, so the Bucs will have to devote a lot of resources to rebuilding that side of the ball.

That may not leave a lot of money to spend on Carr. On the other hand, why wouldn’t Carr want to throw the ball to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? Having that tandem in place will surely work in Tampa’s favor.


With the second overall pick in the draft, the Texans are likely going to select a young quarterback to make the new face of the franchise. But Houston will at least consider the possibility of signing Carr and doing something else with that pick.

Of course, why would Carr want to go to a team with a defensive-minded head coach and a subpar supporting cast? There is a lot of rebuilding left to do in Houston, which may not be that appealing to Carr, which is why the Texans aren’t the most obvious landing spot for him.


Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Carr somehow ended up back with the Raiders? A lot of things would have to happen for that to be the case. However, nobody thought Jimmy Garoppolo would end up back with the 49ers in 2022, and that ended up happening.

Perhaps the Raiders will realize at some point that Carr is still their best option moving forward.

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