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ESPN Writers predictions on the QBs.


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They asked the nfl beat writers to predict what will happen and play armchair GM

Cimini says Carr waits out the raiders and the jets sign him as a FA to a monster deal after trying to trade for Carr initially and then Tannehill   




We asked our NFL Nation reporters to serve as GMs for their teams and decide what to do at their most important position. The stand-in GMs put together trade packages for passers who could be made available by their teams and pitched contract offers to free agents, with national reporter Dan Graziano playing the role of player rep to "sign" new deals here. They also projected franchise tags and cap casualty cuts. And finally, they mocked the first two rounds of the 2023 draft to address the future.

We kept this exercise to quarterbacks who will either start or compete to start in 2023, with the exception of a few draft picks who might sit in Year 1. And the object for this project wasn't to "win" negotiations but rather to accurately reflect how a team might approach the QB market. So which teams landed a new starting quarterback? Let's predict this offseason's QB movement with some hypothetical trade offers, free agent signings and draft picks.


We might not have trades of last offseason's magnitude, when Russell Wilson went to the Broncos and Deshaun Watson joined the Browns -- though that could change if Green Bay decides to make Aaron Rodgers available. But reporters still made trade offers to two teams (represented by their own reporters) for quarterbacks who might be available.

Derek Carr, Raiders

Contract status: Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension last spring, which included a no-trade clause. Las Vegas has a three-day window after the Super Bowl to cut Carr for a salary-cap hit of $5.6 million. If not, his $32.9 million salary for next season and $7.5 million of his salary for 2024 would become guaranteed. Trades won't become official until March, which means any team trading for Carr would take on that guaranteed money -- and Carr has the right to veto any move.

Jets' offer: 2023 third-round pick for Carr. The Jets want to keep Zach Wilsonin a backup role, so they will need an experienced win-now starter. Carr will be 32 next season and has proved durable (91 straight starts before his Week 17 benching), and he has the kind of accuracy (64.6% career completion percentage) that fits the Jets' West Coast offense. Turnovers are a concern (28 interceptions over the past two seasons), but he had to play a lot of catch-up on the defensively challenged Raiders. Carr has never had a defense ranked higher than 20th in points allowed. The Jets' defensive unit can support him. -- Rich Cimini


Saints' offer: 2023 third- and fourth-round picks for Carr. He would be reunited with Saints coach Dennis Allen, who drafted him and made the decision to start him as a rookie. This would give the Saints more clarity at quarterback, but they would once again need to work salary-cap magic to fit Carr onto the roster. That'd likely require taking most of his base salary and converting it to a signing bonus, then adding years to the deal to spread out the hit. -- Katherine Terrell

RAIDERS' DECISION: Carr vetoes move to New Orleans. The Raiders would no doubt like to recoup something in a trade for Carr. But his statement wishing fans farewell leaves Las Vegas with little-to-no leverage, especially given his no-trade clause. The Raiders would prefer the Saints' offer, but Carr has to sign off on any deal -- and he likely wouldn't accept a trade at this point, knowing that he could probably end up a free agent in a month's time. -- Paul Gutierrez

Ryan Tannehill, Titans

Contract status: Tannehill signed a four-year extension in 2020, and he has one year left with a $27 million base salary and $36.6 million cap hit for 2023. But he does not have any guaranteed money left on his deal.

Jets' offer: 2023 fourth-round pick for Tannehill. No luck with Carr, so let's see if Tennessee is interested in making a move. Tannehill (35 years old next season) is older than Carr, but the financial commitment wouldn't be as hefty. He has played in a similar offense, so it would be an easy transition from a scheme standpoint. The Jets are looking for a proven starter, which would allow them to keep Wilson on the bench for more development. -- Rich Cimini

TITANS' DECISION: No deal. Tannehill feels he has a lot of good football left ... and so do the Titans. Tennessee is 37-20 with Tannehill as its starting quarterback since Week 6 of 2019. Rather than trade Tannehill, the Titans decide here to build around him. His cap number will be $36.6 million, but Tennessee can extend him to lower it and bring him back for at least another season. The Titans will likely carry three quarterbacks on the active roster with a veteran as the backup and Malik Williscontinuing to develop as the No. 3 option. -- Turron Davenport


Ravens tag Lamar Jackson


Giants extend Daniel Jones


OK, we're on to free agency. Our reporters -- serving as their teams' GMs -- made contract offers and pitches to free agent QBs, and our own Dan Graziano played the role of player representative and "inked" a deal for each quarterback.

Derek Carr

2022 team: Raiders

Panthers' offer: Three years, $102 million ($68 million guaranteed). He'll have a stable offensive line, a solid defense and a new offensive-minded head coach committed to making this work in an NFC South that will be winnable with QB uncertainty throughout the division. The deal will include a $40 million signing bonus and would void after the second year if he doesn't start 70% of games in 2024. -- David Newton

Buccaneers' offer: Two years, $80 million ($30 million guaranteed). Incentives will be included for trips to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. This is a team built to win and has made the playoffs in three straight seasons with two 1,000-yard receivers. -- Jenna Laine

Jets' offer: Three years, $120 million ($55 million guaranteed). That will include a total of $75 million in total compensation for the first two years, and for cap purposes, the deal will have void years in 2026 and 2027. Carr has played with mostly bad defenses with the Raiders, but New York boosts a top-five unit. He also has two potential stars at offensive skill positions in receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall. -- Rich Cimini

Saints' offer: Three years, $90 million ($40 million guaranteed). We will include void years in 2026 and 2027 to help out the cap situation, and the contract would also include $10 million roster bonuses in 2024 and 2025 that can be converted into signing bonuses. The Saints liked Carr enough to try to trade for him, and if he does ultimately want to join New Orleans here, he can reunite with Dennis Allen, who drafted him. -- Katherine Terrell

Falcons' offer: Three years, $57 million ($24 million guaranteed). The deal will also have a $6 million signing bonus. It's a lower offer than Carr is likely to get elsewhere, but it's also a hedge because we like what we've seen out of Desmond Ridder in the four games of his rookie year. But we're definitely willing to talk, and between running back Tyler Allgeier, receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts, we've got young talent at every skill position. -- Michael Rothstein

Illustration by ESPN

CARR'S DECISION: Accept the Jets' offer. The Panthers offered a solid deal, and I seriously considered the Saints' offer -- they're still in their win-now window with good skill position talent and an offensive line that will improve with better health next year. But the Jets fit that description as well, and it feels like they're operating in an earlier part of their window. And they offered $10 million more per year. Start spreadin' the news. -- Dan Graziano

The Jets' aftermath: Carr is a significant upgrade for the Jets because he's an experienced, durable quarterback with a background in the West Coast offense, which they will run under new coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. He has averaged 24 touchdown passes per year over his career, and the Jets would've been a playoff team in 2022 with that kind of production. And the defense should reduce the pressure on him. The Jets' pursuit of Carr could be influenced by whether Aaron Rodgers becomes available, but that's a big question mark. -- Cimini

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