Derek Carr Trade Price Could Be Lesson for Vikings

Every year since the Minnesota Vikings 2020 offseason, voices in the Vikings community spitball ways for the franchise to trade quarterback Kirk Cousins.

And it never happens.

The most commonly theorized trade partner is the San Francisco 49ers, and around this time on the calendar — like clockwork — folks surmise how Cousins could be sent to Kyle Shanahan’s team.

It’s an offseason obsession — one complicated in 2023 because Cousins has a no-trade clause. If Minnesota even wanted to move on from the 34-year-old, he would have to sign off on the deal.

Derek Carr Trade Price Could Be Lesson for Vikings

Still, the same voices chirp about Cousins to San Francisco, and 2023 is no different. Between January 24th and 30th, SKOR North tweeted and produced segments about a hypothetical Cousins trade five times. It’s bees-to-honey stuff.

Evidently hoping to force Cousins into the NFL’s annual quarterback carousel, some would like to begin the post-Cousins era. The Vikings have implemented the man as QB1 in five seasons since 2018, with two playoff appearances and one playoff win to show for it. That’s the main beef.

Derek Carr Trade Price
Dec 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) warms up before a game against the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

One man on ground zero of the 2023 QB carousel is Las Vegas Raiders passer, Derek Carr. He and Las Vegas informally cut ties right before the end of the 2022 regular season, and Carr will lead a different team in 2023. On Tuesday, the asking price for Carr via trade became clearer. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted, “Raiders’ asking price modest. One NFL source said 3rd round pick could get it done.”

And this is a critical inflection point for all trade-Cousins personalities. Carr and Cousins are frequently lassoed with the same rope and deemed “good but not great” quarterbacks.

Dec 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) scrambles with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

If the asking price for Carr is a 3rd-Rounder, assuming Cousins would fetch oodles more from the 49ers — or anybody — is farcical.

Phil Mackey from SKOR North defined his asking price for Cousins on January 30th, “I would personally prefer a 2024 1st round pick from SF. Give me a 2023 3rd, a 2023 5th and a 2024 1st.”

That’s a desire for three draft picks — one of them a 1st-Rounder — for Cousins when Carr might join the Saints or another team for a 3rd-Round pick. The trade packages, one perhaps real and the other conjured from thin air, are worlds apart.

Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Too, the incongruency is a continuation of the Cousins-related paradox. Those who don’t think he’s a very good quarterback still somehow believe that other teams salivate about him and would hence deal three picks, including a 1st-Rounder, for his services. Cousins is either not very effective and could be traded for a mid-round pick — or he’s damn good and can fetch a 1st-Rounder like Matthew Stafford in 2021.

You can’t have it both ways. Or if you do — you’re weird.

Moreover, trades from last year could sully any Cousins deal. For example, Carr’s asking price is likely “only a 3rd-Rounder” because two notable swaps flopped last offseason. Those were Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts and Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders. Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a king’s ransom didn’t help, either.

So, pick a side. If Cousins is Derek Carr-ish, he’d probably exit the Vikings roster for a mid-round pick. And if one believes Cousins is outstanding in the vein of a Top 12 quarterback, well, then why trade him if the first place?

Folks shouldn’t insist he’s a liability to the Vikings — and then expect some other team to donate three draft picks for the liability quarterback.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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