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Aaron Rodgers Derek Carr
NFL

Is Aaron Rodgers for Derek Carr Trade Even Possible?

  • Justin Melo
  • November 22, 2022
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The Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers are two of the more disappointing teams of the 2022 campaign. Both the Packers and Raiders were expected to be postseason contenders, but are instead staring down the barrel of a wasted season. Could the two franchises come together for a massive blockbuster trade during the upcoming offseason? NBC Sports’ Peter King recently envisioned the possibility.

“I think it might not be altogether nonsensical to consider trading Aaron Rodgers to Las Vegas for Derek Carr and a third-round pick,” King wrote in his latest column. “Might is the most important word there. Miles to go before you reach a decision like that, but it has crossed my mind.”

The Raiders may be the more interested party of the two sides in pursuing such a deal. Head coach Josh McDaniels is rumored to keep his job despite Vegas’ current struggles (3-7). A scapegoat is still expected to be identified for the Raiders’ off-the-rails campaign and Carr is an easy choice. A three-time Pro Bowler, Carr hasn’t taken to McDaniels’ complicated system. Carr is completing just 62.4% of his passes this season despite the presence of a No. 1 receiver in Davante Adams. It represents Carr’s lowest completion percentage since his 2015 sophomore campaign. His 7.0 yards per attempt is his lowest output since 2017.

While the Raiders may be willing to part with Carr, their alternative options are difficult to sort through. Would Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler be willing to acquire a 39-year-old Rodgers? We wouldn’t rule out the possibility, but it would immediately place the Raiders’ 2023 campaign in Super-Bowl-or-bust territory. It may be a misguided viewpoint for a Raiders franchise that requires several personnel upgrades outside of the quarterback position.

The struggling Raiders currently possess the No. 4 overall selection in April’s 2023 draft. In-house scout Kyle Crabbs has the Raiders selecting EDGE Will Anderson Jr. in his latest NFL mock draft. A top-five pick may place them within range to draft C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young. But McDaniels’ interest in drafting a young signal-caller may not be overly strong considering the complexities of his scheme. The Raiders may consider acquiring/signing a veteran quarterback a la Rodgers instead.

Jimmy Garoppolo or Tom Brady, who have both worked alongside McDaniels in the past, may also interest the Raiders. It’s worth acknowledging trading for Brady would essentially carry the same risks as Rodgers, making the 2023 season a do-or-die campaign. But perhaps Brady’s familiarity with McDaniels’ playbook could serve as an offsetting factor.

It’s difficult to imagine the Packers pursuing a trade for Carr given his current lackluster form. Should Rodgers retire or be traded elsewhere, it awards the Packers with a prime opportunity to transition to a younger quarterback. They already roster an intriguing one they drafted with a premium first-round selection in Jordan Love.

The 4-7 Packers are witnessing their postseason aspirations mercilessly fade. The Packers should consider playing Love at some point. Evaluating Love prior to the 2023 campaign is becoming a necessary outcome with each passing loss. The best way for the Packers to prepare for Rodgers’ potential departure via retirement or trade is to figure out whether or not they need to add a veteran quarterback like Carr during the offseason.

Let’s analyze whether or not these contracts can be traded.

Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay will become the biggest storyline once the offseason commences. Rodgers signed a massive three-year contract worth $150.8 million with more than $100 million fully guaranteed this past offseason. If Rodgers were to be traded prior to June 1, the Packers would inherit a dead cap hit of $40.3 million in 2023. A post-June-1 trade qualifies as more realistic. Under such a scenario, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst would inherit a more manageable cap charge of $15.8 million in 2023 and $24.4 million in 2024. Rodgers doesn’t possess a no-trade clause. Cutting Rodgers isn’t feasible financially, but an offseason blockbuster is within the realm of possibility.

Carr’s contract is also moveable despite signing an extension this summer. Carr signed a three-year extension worth $120.5 million with $24.9 million guaranteed at signing. But the Raiders only guaranteed Carr’s 2022 salary ($17.4 million) along with a $7.5 million signing bonus. Carr’s 2023 salary ($32.9 million) is only guaranteed for injury and officially triggers after this season’s Super Bowl. Carr, like Rodgers, can’t be cut but can be traded.

The Raiders and Packers may search for new quarterbacks during the impending offseason. The pressure is mounting on both disappointing franchises. Although a Derek Carr for Aaron Rodgers swap remains possible, neither general manager should pursue such an opportunity.