Derek Carr has hit the open market.
The Raiders have cut the veteran quarterback, as expected. They would have owed him just over $40 million in guaranteed money — his entire 2023 salary and a portion of his 2024 salary — had he been on the roster after 4 p.m. Tuesday. And a trade was never going to happen for myriad reasons, chiefly Carr’s no-trade clause, the aforementioned contract complications and the fact the Raiders had no leverage after deciding to abruptly move on from him late last season.
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So now Carr is a free agent. He is free to sign with a new team immediately. He’s already visited the Saints — the Raiders let him when they were trying to salvage a trade — and New Orleans figures to remain a contender. The Buccaneers and Panthers may also be interested. And the Jets, of course. All indications are Aaron Rodgers remains their top priority. But there are many unknowns with him, while Carr pursuit would be much more straightforward: Make a call, make an offer, get a deal done. And there are arguments to be made Carr would be a smarter bet than Rodgers on the whole.
The deal Carr signs — whether it is with the Jets or elsewhere — will be of interest to the Giants. Especially if he finds a new home before free agency begins. Carr had an annual average salary of $40.5 million with his just-terminated Raiders deal. He will have a hard time matching that, much less exceeding it. But he should land somewhere in the upper 30s. And that will go a long way toward informing what Daniel Jones’ contract should look like.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.