There’s a good chance the Washington Commanders will be looking for another new quarterback in 2023. Carson Wentz hasn’t proven to be the answer in 2022, although he has a two-game audition to change Washington’s mind, and the Commanders know what they have in Taylor Heinicke.
The 2023 veteran quarterback market could have multiple intriguing options for the Commanders in the offseason. Lamar Jackson is a free agent, but it’s doubtful he will escape Baltimore. The greatest player of all time, Tom Brady, is also a free agent, as is a player Washington was interested in last offseason, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Geno Smith is another interesting name.
Another name who became a possibility on Wednesday is Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders benched Carr with two games remaining in the season after his recent struggles. Now, Carr is stepping away from the team for the final two weeks, and his tenure with the Raiders is essentially over.
Performance is why the Raiders benched Carr, but his contract was probably the biggest determining factor.
Whether it was owner Mark Davis or head coach Josh McDaniels, the Raiders had already determined they wanted to move forward without Carr and weren’t risking an injury over the final two games.
After benching Carr, it damages Carr’s potential trade value. Even with his recent struggles, Carr is still a top-half-of-the-league quarterback and would fetch Las Vegas multiple draft picks. Now, you wonder if the Raiders will release Carr.
Carr has a no-trade clause, so he has control over his next destination.
After Carr’s benching, CBS Sports released a list of 10 teams that make sense for Carr in 2023. Five teams were in the “long-shot” category, while five were considered top contenders.
One of those top contenders was the Commanders.
Ron Rivera can insist they need a long-term answer at QB all he wants, but few teams are perpetually hunting for mid-tier veterans like Washington. They’ll have plenty of financial flexibility if/when they cut or trade Carson Wentz, and assuming Rivera sticks around with his staff, Carr has ties to Jack Del Rio, the second-hand man; Del Rio was the Raiders’ coach during Carr’s 2015-2016 breakout, when the QB led a 12-3 start before going down with an injury.
The Del Rio connection is interesting. Del Rio has spoken favorably of Carr in the past. And Washington has plenty of offensive weapons to woo a solid veteran quarterback.
Would Carr want to come to Washington? Would Washington even be interested in Carr? The Commanders should be interested. It all depends on the price. If the Raiders trade him, what will it cost? You don’t want to trade high draft choices in back-to-back years for different veteran quarterbacks and then have to pay a top salary. If Carr is released, that’s probably a different story.
Last offseason was an important one for Washington; this upcoming offseason is even more significant. The Commanders could have new ownership in the spring, and that could bring plenty of change.