Raiders expected to explore trade offers for QB Derek Carr this offseason

With the Raiders still having two games left this season — and the playoffs still mathematically possible — their plans for this offseason seem clear.

Las Vegas should explore trade options for quarterback Derek Carr, sources say. The veteran who has started almost every regular season game for the Raiders since the 2014 season is almost certainly heading to a new team for 2023.

In his place, Jarrett Stidham will start today against the 49ers, his two-game opportunity to make his case for next season. Meanwhile, Carr has been away from the team for the past two weeks to avoid distractions.

There are scenarios where Carr stays with the Raiders — the 49ers unofficially said goodbye to Jimmy Garoppolo last offseason and he’s still playing for them — but that’s the likely outcome for Carr.

Once the season is over, the preparation for next season will ramp up and what happens next with Carr is the focus. He is expected to join other accomplished veterans such as Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and others as QBs available through free agency or trade this offseason.

Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels made it clear why the Raiders made the move — which owner Mark Davis said the sources supported — in a conversation with reporters last week.

“None of us are happy with where we are,” McDaniels told reporters on Wednesday. “But we think it’s an opportunity to assess a younger player who hasn’t had a lot of time to play. Derek has been great. He understands the scenario we’re in.”

Carr, a three-time Pro Bowler, once said he’d rather quit football than play for another team. But make no mistake: Carr has no intention of retiring and has no intention of going out like this. Sources say he tells those close to him that he has his best football ahead of him.

Decisions on Carr will have to come quickly. Based on the terms of his three-year, $121.5 million extension he signed before the season, his base salary of $32.9 million for 2023 and an additional $7.5 million from his Base 2024 becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster on the third day of the waiver period – or three days after the Super Bowl.

Any decision on what to do next, whether it’s a trade or an outright release if a trade doesn’t materialize, would come before that.

While no trades can be official until the start of the league year, trades are routinely accepted in principle before being finalized in mid-March. Carr also has a no-trade clause in his contract and the different parties should all be on the same page to execute such an agreement.

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