Many Gang Green fans are interested in acquiring Aaron Rodgers this offseason.
But there’s another available quarterback the Jets need to target.
The Raiders will soon make Derek Carr available on the open market as he will either be released or traded during the upcoming weeks. Carr’s contract has a trigger date as he will be guaranteed $40.4 million during the next two years if he is not traded or released before Feb. 15.
What complicates matters is that Carr has a no-trade clause, as he would have to waive and sign off on any deal made before the Feb. 15 deadline. According to ESPN, the Raiders have granted Carr permission to speak with teams that have already agreed to the compensation Las Vegas is looking for in a potential trade.
If the Jets were smart, they would try to trade for Carr before the Feb. 15 deadline. Yes, Rodgers is potentially available for a trade, but no one knows precisely what he wants to do.
For all we know, Rodgers could stay in Green Bay next season and is just enjoying his name being in the media every single week. There are ties to Rodgers especially now that Nathdianel Hackett is their offensive coordinator. But he has given zero indication that one, he wants to be traded and two he wants to play for the Jets.
Other teams such as the Raiders are also targeting Rodgers. Devante Adams, Rodgers former teammate in Green Bay, has been active on social media advocating for him to force a trade to Las Vegas. That’s why Gang Green needs to be proactive in the quarterback search this offseason, and that should include going strong after Carr.
The Jets don’t have time to wait for Rodgers to make up his mind. For all we know, Rodgers may decide to wait until mid-March to ask for a trade or commit to staying in Green Bay. The Texans, Colts, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans, and Panthers all need quarterbacks. That’s why the Jets can’t wait and possibly miss out on Carr, who would significantly upgrade their quarterback room.
Last season, Carr passed for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 60.8% of his passes in 15 games. The Raiders benched him for the final two games after Carr and the team agreed to step away from the team for the remainder of the season not to be a distraction.
“I’m thankful for my time in Las Vegas and in Oakland,” Carr said to NFL Network during the Pro Bowl. “I will always be thankful and grateful, but it comes a time when it’s time to move on and it’s this time.
“I’m excited, I can’t wait to see where God takes us next. I’m going to give that city everything that I have.”
Carr’s numbers last season were similar to Rodgers’, who will be 40 in December. Last year, Rodgers threw for 3,695 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.6% of his passes in what was perceived as a down season for him.
The Raiders have little leverage because of Carr’s current contract and they know he could be available for nothing if they waited two weeks. But the Jets could swoop in and offer the Raiders a Day 3 draft pick as that’s better than flat-out releasing him for nothing.
Acquiring Rodgers would likely require giving up at least a first-round pick, if not more, for the future Hall of Famer. But at this point, would it be worth it for a player like Rodgers?
After failing on Zach Wilson, Robert Saleh and Joe Douglas have to get the quarterback position right this offseason. The Jets gave Mike White an opportunity to see if he was a legitimate starting quarterback option for four games, but injuries got in the way. Also, White played poorly when the Jets fought for their playoff lives during a 23-6 loss to the Seahawks on Jan. 1.
Carr will be 32 next season, so the Jets would get a player who feels he has a lot to prove and one who could stay on the roster for the next five years. With Rodgers, it could be a 2008 Brett Favre scenario all over again, as next year, he could decide to retire or want to move on from the team.
According to Over The Cap, the Jets are $1.3 million over the salary cap. The team also has significant financial decisions, including giving defensive tackle Quinnen Williams a mega extension before the start of OTAs in May. With their defense finishing in fourth in yardage and points allowed in 2022, the time is now for Saleh and Douglas to make a deal with the Raiders for Carr, who could be willing to provide the Jets with a more cap-friendly deal.
Jets owner Woody Johnson didn’t give Saleh and Douglas a playoff mandate during his media availability last month. However, after entering December with a 7-4 record and losing six straight to miss the postseason for a franchise record 12th straight year, they can’t afford to miss out on Carr while waiting on a possible pipedream for Rodgers.