Colts: Should Indy target Derek Carr in trade as Raiders-Deshaun Watson rumors swirl?

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 26: Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 26: Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts are still in the market for a new quarterback, as Matthew Stafford’s trade to the Los Angeles Rams crossed one of the better veteran options off the board. If Chris Ballard is still feeling daring enough to really make a splash this offseason, he could consider swinging a deal for Las Vegas Raiders gunslinger Derek Carr.

Carr has spent the last seven seasons as the quarterback of the Raiders, constantly producing efficient passing numbers despite some questionable infrastructure around him both on the field and on the sideline. If the Raiders want to, for some reason, move off of Carr, he could end up in Indianapolis.

Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal claims that the Raiders, who could have an eye on Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson, would be willing to move Carr this offseason. With or without a Watson trade, the Colts should absolutely go after Carr. The former Fresno State star is signed through 2022.

Derek Carr could be a star under Frank Reich on the Indianapolis Colts

While Carr made three Pro Bowls in his first four seasons in the NFL, his star lost some luster after struggling in his first two years under Jon Gruden. While the Raiders limped to an 8-8 finish in 2020, Carr was far from the biggest problem, as he set a new career-high in passing yards while throwing for 27 touchdowns against just nine interceptions.

Though Carr has one of the strongest arms in the league, he always seemed hesitant to unleash it down the field. After the Raiders got him some downfield weapons, Carr looked like the same confident, productive quarterback that led the Raiders to the postseason back in their Oakland days.

Despite his individual success, Carr hasn’t had a winning season since 2016, in large part because of poor roster construction and Gruden’s over-reliance on disposed defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. If Carr ended up in Indianapolis, which would likely mean Ballard surrendered several top picks, he could have everything he needs to contend for a championship.

While he had good offensive coaching in Vegas, Reich’s postseason experience combined with a tremendous offensive line and one of the best young running backs in football in Jonathan Taylor could help Carr break most of his personal bests. With an elite Darius Leonard-led defense on the other side of the ball, Carr won’t have to play hero ball and win games by himself.

Carr is incredibly accurate, suddenly willing to stretch the field, and coming off of one of the best seasons of his career. While the 2021 offseason looks like an unprecedented spring with regards to quarterback movement, players like Carr rarely become available, and Ballard needs to get on the phone with Mike Mayock ASAP, lest Jacob Eason head into the season as the starter.