Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)
Another quarterback who could look for a fresh start in 2022 is Derek Carr. He has had some success with the Raiders, especially after a strong start in 2021 that helped get them into the playoffs. At 30 years old, Carr is rumored to be in the mix for a lot of quarterback openings, most notably the Washington Commanders.
Carr put up monster numbers last season, throwing for 4,804 yards which were the fifth-most in the NFL. He carried the Raiders to 10 wins and a playoff berth despite a ton of off-field drama surrounding the organization.
If the Vikings want to cut some of the cost of Cousins while still having a serviceable quarterback at the helm in 2022, Derek Carr is a strong candidate. His cap hit sits just below $20 million, a far better number than the $45 million that is attached to Kirk Cousins.
I view Carr and Cousins in the same tier as far as NFL quarterbacks go. It would be much easier to win and build a team around Carr’s cap number than it would with Cousins at the moment. Carr can keep Minnesota competitive, especially if Rodgers leaves Green Bay, without sacrificing a massive chunk of the cap space.
If Minnesota wants to win in 2022 and build a stronger defense to support the prolific offense, Carr is the answer. However, they could go after a high-risk, high-reward candidate as well.