2023 NFL Free Agent Report: Derek Carr Wants $35M per year

The quarterback market could get pretty wild this offseason. With possibly half the NFL looking for a short- or long-term answer at the position in either free agency, the trade market or draft, there will surely be a whole lot of maneuvering going on over the next couple of months as teams look to land the ideal fit.

The first place one of those teams can find their guy is on the free-agent market, and technically, the first potential free agent is already out there. Derek Carr is on the open market after he was released by the Las Vegas Raiders, and he’s already been taking free-agent visits, having gone to both New Orleans (Saints) and North Jersey (Jets) to check some things out.

Carr is seeking a contract that pays him $35 million per year, according to Sports Betting news sources, “He doesn’t need to be the first quarterback to sign [in free agency],” Diana Russini said during a Friday morning appearance on ESPN.

Taking a look at the current quarterback market, an average annual value of $35 million would tie Carr with Kirk Cousins as the league’s ninth-highest-paid quarterback.

Of course, Cousins had a ton of leverage over the Vikings when he signed his deal, being that he was coming off a fully guaranteed contract and the Vikings needed to extend him to clear some cap room and field the rest of their team. Carr is not in the same situation, but he could potentially have a number of suitors, which could drive his price up.

2023 NFL Free Agent Report: Derek Carr in Demand

2023 NFL Free Agent Report: Derek Carr in DemandSo far. the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets are in hot pursuit of the Derek Carr. However, three more teams have also been in contact with the former Raiders quarterback. These teams are the Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, and a few other needy teams could enter the mix.

Carr is working with a deadline of March 13, the start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, when other free agent quarterbacks will be cleared to talk shop with other teams. That will give the Jets and Saints other options and likely depress his own market value.

At the same time, though, conversations are probably picking up between Carr’s representatives and interested teams ahead of the NFL scouting combine. That’s where many meetings between team executives and agents happen behind closed doors in steakhouses and in smoky booths in dive bars around Indianapolis, often leading to handshake agreements ahead of free agency. If Carr and his team feel time is of the essence, they’ll be moving quickly to get him on a new roster somewhere around the league.

However, the sheer volume of quarterbacks potentially available this offseason could have the opposite effect. Where Carr’s price point ends up could foreshadow how the rest of the quarterback market shakes out.

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By Steel