Some Thoughts on a Potential Trade for Derek Carr

| February 20th, 2020

Here’s what I know.

The Chicago Bears are currently fixated on trying to improve the quarterback position for 2020. But like any other position, the ability to achieve that improvement is dependent on availability. What players are on the trading block? What is the upside at the position in the second round (and later) of the draft? How much will the veteran free agent options cost? It’s all well and good to WANT to get better. But the opportunities still have to be there.

In recent days, a name has started to emerge: Derek Carr. From The Athletic’s Vic Tafur:

…$2.9 million of Carr’s $18.9 million 2020 base salary became guaranteed on Feb 5. The remaining $16 million is not guaranteed, which is a large part of the reason why there has been so much speculation about Carr’s future.

Here are my thoughts on the potential deal.

  • Many have argued, including me, that the Bears need to find their Alex Smith. Carr fits the bill, and his stats show that. His career quarterback rating is over 90. He’s good for about 4,000 yards passing a year. He takes a somewhat conservative approach, which means he’ll always have a good TD/INT ratio. Carr is a solid NFL quarterback and a solid NFL quarterback would be a DRAMATIC improvement for the 2020 Chicago Bears.
  • Carr is only going to be 29 this season. There’s no reason to believe he couldn’t be the Bears quarterback for the next five years plus.
  • Text from the artist known as [REDACTED]: “He’s a smart quarterback. I’m not sure the Bears have one of those right now.” Yes, this is a harsh fucking criticism. It’s also not the first time I’ve heard this knock on Mitch. The chorus is growing.

  • Why are the Raiders willing to move on from a QB who completed 70% of his passes to a pass rating of over 100 in 2019? It’s a valid question. But one possible answer is that Gruden is notoriously picky about his quarterbacks and Carr is not his guy.
  • What would the cost be for a deal like this? Alex Smith was traded by Kansas City to Washington for Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick. Would the Bears be willing to part with one of their second rounders to get him? I’d certainly argue that price fair and it would immediately insert a ton of life into the 2020 campaign.
  • Adam Schefter’s story that the Raiders are interested in Tom Brady seemed far-fetched at the time but it makes a ton of sense. Imagine the Raiders launching in that loony town with Brady at quarterback? They immediately become a contender to open the season in Kansas City and their home opener is a sure thing primetime affair.

Derek Carr is not a consistently great quarterback. But he’s a good one, with flashes of greatness. And he’s a leader. If the Bears can get him, they should go get him.

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