Report: Free-agent QB Carr to visit with AFC team

Derek Carr is taking a look at another NFL team now that his free agency has officially started.

The nine-year veteran quarterback will visit with the New York Jets this weekend, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.

Carr met with the New Orleans Saints last week prior to being released by the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday. He decided, however, not to waive his no-trade clause. To avoid paying out the $40.4 million that Carr was set to have become guaranteed on Wednesday, the Raiders cut ties with their longtime starting quarterback, allowing him to sign with any team before free agency begins on March 15. 

Carr was benched for the final two games of the regular season, which signaled the end of a run in which he earned four Pro Bowl berths and became the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (35,222) and touchdown passes (217). 

‘We have a lot of respect for Derek Carr and what he has meant to the Raiders organization for the last nine years,’ Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler said in a joint statement. ‘Derek has done great things in this league and we’re thankful to have been able to work with him this past year. He is a true professional and we appreciate his hard work in striving to produce the results we all desire. We wish Derek and his family all the best in the future.’

Carr’s potential fit with Jets

In New York, Carr would serve as the veteran upgrade behind center the team has said it is seeking this offseason. Former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson was benched in December amid persistent struggles, and team leadership has made clear a return to the starting role in the near future is not in the cards.

‘The quarterback position with all the different interviews was the No. 1 concern, and rightfully so and it was simple,’ Saleh said in January. ‘We’re committed to finding a veteran — we didn’t get into names. I doubt that he’s studied those guys yet which he’s going to start next week, but we didn’t get into specifics on names. But it was talked about that we do plan on bringing in a veteran quarterback if we can and we do want to continue working with Zach (Wilson).’

The Jets hired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in January after firing Mike LaFleur. The move ramped up speculation that the team would make a play to acquire four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, but the quarterback has yet to reveal his intentions for 2023.

The Jets also this week reportedly hired Todd Downing, who served as the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach from 2015-16 and offensive coordinator in 2017. 

While the Jets ranked 25th in total offense with 318.2 yards per game last year, Carr would have a bevy of young talent around him. First-round receiver Garrett Wilson was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after notching 1,103 receiving yards on 83 catches, and second-round running back Breece Hall was off to a promising start before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in October.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY