Home > Carr’s Impending Raiders Departure Could Have Ripple Effect Throughout NFL

The latest drama involving an NFL quarterback comes out of Las Vegas, where veteran signal-caller Derek Carr was benched this week.

Carr, who has thrown for more than 35,000 yards and 99 touchdowns across nine seasons with the Raiders, was sacked for backup Jarrett Stidham ahead of the Raiders home game against the San Francisco 49ers on New Year’s Day. 

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The franchise has since announced Carr has taken a leave of absence from the team, with the veteran QB sitting out the rest of the season to avoid being a distraction, according to ESPN.

Online sports betting sites reacted swiftly to the news of Carr’s benching.

At BetMGM Sportsbook, Las Vegas has ballooned to 9.5-point home underdogs against the 49ers.

With Carr seemingly out of the Raiders’ long-term plans, he will likely join the already voluminous collection of QBs available this off season. Even without trades, there are 36 current quarterbacks scheduled to be free agents, along with a relatively strong incoming draft class.

U.S. Betting Report broke down where Carr stands, along with other prominent NFL QBs who could be on the move this offseason.

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NFL Free Agent QBs in Off Season  

  • Brandon Allen (Cincinnati) 
  • Kyle Allen (Houston) 
  • C.J. Beathard (Jacksonville) 
  • Tom Brady (Tampa Bay)
  • Jacoby Brissett (Cleveland)
  • Shane Buechle (Kansas City) 
  • Andy Dalton (New Orleans)
  • Chase Daniel (Los Angeles)  
  • Sam Darnold (Carolina)
  • Jeff Driskel (Houston) 
  • Joe Flacco (New York)
  • Blaine Gabbert (Tampa Bay) 
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco)
  • Taylor Heinicke (Washington) 
  • Chad Henne (Kansas City) 
  • Tyler Huntley (Baltimore) 
  • Lamar Jackson (Baltimore)
  • Josh Johnson (San Francisco) 
  • Daniel Jones (New York)
  • Drew Lock (Seattle)   
  • Baker Mayfield (Los Angeles)
  • Trace McSorley (Arizona) 
  • Gardner Minshew (Philadelphia) 
  • Nick Mullens (Minnesota) 
  • Bryce Perkins (Los Angeles) 
  • Nathan Peterman (Chicago) 
  • Mason Rudolph (Pittsburgh) 
  • Cooper Rush (Dallas) 
  • Brett Rypien (Denver) 
  • Geno Smith (Seattle) 
  • Easton Stick (Los Angeles) 
  • Jarrett Stidham (Las Vegas) 
  • Nate Sudfeld (Detroit) 
  • Phillip Walker (Carolina) 
  • Mike White (New York) 
  • John Wolford (Los Angeles)

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Top QBs to Watch in the Market

Derek Carr  

Carr will be 32 next season and is a three-time Pro Bowler. The 2022 season will wind up being the first where Carr fails to crack 4,000 yards passing since 2017, though he did toss more touchdown passes (24) than he did last season (23).

Carr is under contract through 2025 and has a no-trade clause, but the Raiders would take just a $5.6 million salary cap hit if they cut him.

If Carr were to hit the open market he could find several suitors, including Washington and Carolina, who will be in dire need of a new QB.

But reports indicate Carr signing off on a trade might be more likely.

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Baker Mayfield  

Mayfield has gone from untouchable to intriguing during his brief stint with the L.A. Rams.

The former Heisman Trophy winner has completed 69% of his passes for 571 yards, with four passing touchdowns to one interception in three games, paving the way for him to sign a hefty contract this offseason.

Mayfield was dealt this offseason from Cleveland to Carolina, after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson. But after being cut by the Panthers, he seems to have found a comfy setup under Rams coach Sean McVay.

There’s some question as to whether Rams starting QB Matthew Stafford returns in 2023, potentially paving the way for Mayfield (who is a free agent after the season) to audition his way into the full-time job for 2023.

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Lamar Jackson  

It’s not every day you can bid on an NFL MVP quarterback in free agency, so Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson’s market should be huge in 2023.

The former Heisman winner enters the 2023 offseason as an unrestricted free agent for the first time, coming off a year where he has thrown for 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also running for 764 yards and three scores.

Jackson has been nothing short of exceptional during his five-year run in Baltimore, throwing for more than 12,000 yards and 101 touchdowns, while also running for 4,437 yards and 24 scores.

Expect a wide open market for Jackson’s services, should Baltimore not come to terms with their star before free agency begins in March.

Virtually any team in the league could be in on Jackson if he hits unrestricted free agency, given his performance and his 53-27 record as the Ravens’ starting QB.

Some teams that could jump to the front of the line are Washington, Indianapolis, the L.A. Rams, Tampa Bay and Houston.   

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Tom Brady  

Much ado was made about Brady returning for his 23rd season, with the NFL’s all-time leading passer doing an about-face on retirement last off season.

That decision hasn’t paid off quite as Brady and company hoped, with the Buccaneers sitting at 7-8 and trying to hold onto the NFC South’s playoff berth.

Brady has been solid, throwing for 4,178 yards and 21 touchdowns (to nine interceptions), bolstering his positioning in the 2023 NFL QB free agent class.

Potential landing spots for Brady, should he decide to play into his age-46 season, would be to return to Tampa Bay for a fourth season, or to venture out to play for Washington, the L.A. Rams, or even to reunite with Bill Belichick in New England.  

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Jimmy Garoppolo 

Garoppolo went from unwanted QB to the NFL’s leader in avoiding interceptions this season for San Francisco.

The former New England Patriot was a much-hyped trade target during the offseason. Instead, he became much-needed insurance when Trey Lance went down with an ankle injury.

Garoppolo played 11 games for the 49ers, before suffering a foot injury against the Dolphins on Dec. 4.  Garoppolo hasn’t played since, though third-string QB Brock Purdy has stepped up to guide the 49ers to a 3-0 record in his absence.

With Garoppolo sitting as a pending free agent, it seems his days in San Francisco are numbered, opening the door for teams like Carolina, Washington, the L.A. Rams, and even the Patriots to bid on his services this offseason.  

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Geno Smith  

No NFL QB has had the type of renaissance season Smith has put up in Seattle, going from first-round bust to perennial backup to franchise QB in 2022.

The former West Virginia Mountaineer is posting career numbers in Seattle this season, filling the void left by Russell Wilson and then some.

Smith has thrown for 3,886 yards and 27 touchdowns, ranking in the top-10 among NFL QBs in each category, with the fifth best QBR (63.4) in the league.

While Seattle could very well slap a franchise tag on Smith, who previously served as a backup to Wilson in 2020 and 2021, there’s also a chance he hits the open market this offseason.

If the ninth-year QB does enter free agency, expect needy teams like Atlanta, Tennessee, Carolina, and maybe even the team that drafted him (the New York Jets) could be potential suitors.

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Mike White  

Speaking of current and former Jets quarterbacks, White has been solid under center for New York this season, helping keep the team in the playoff picture.

If White is able to stay healthy down the stretch, he’ll have a shot at getting the Jets into the playoffs for the first time since 2010, which will bolster his market in free agency.

Since subbing in for the benched Zach Wilson earlier last month, White has thrown for 952 yards and three touchdowns, while battling a number of injuries in the process.

If White’s healthy enough to start (and win) the Jets’ final two games, against Seattle and Miami, then New York will likely clinch a playoff spot — which will undoubtedly drive up his value.

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