The Guy Always Compared to Kirk Cousins Will Evidently Be Traded

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It’s an annual Minnesota Vikings tradition, usually sprouting around this time on the calendar — what could the team get for Kirk Cousins via trade?

Well, the trade-Cousins fodder may or may not show up in a few weeks — that depends on the outcome of the postseason — but the man habitually compared to Cousins appears to be on his way out.

That’s Derek Carr, who quarterbacked the Las Vegas Raiders from 2014 to, well, now.

The Guy Always Compared to Kirk Cousins Will Evidently Be Traded

The Raiders seem to be nearing the end of the Carr Era in Las Vegas, and Carr tweeted a goodbye on Thursday:

Las Vegas is expected to trade the 31-year-old, the first large domino of the yearly quarterback carousel. Carr was around the 21st-best quarterback in the NFL this season per advanced metrics, and the Raiders defense, per usual, did the man no favors, ranking 30th in the league per defensive EPA/Play. During his nine-year tenure with the Raiders, the franchise failed to surround Carr with a formidable defense, so it often felt like “Carr against the world.”

The Guy Always Compared
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Because Carr is not elite — yet is still a productive quarterback — he is often likened to Vikings QB1 Kirk Cousins. The two haven’t reached a conference championship, stuff statsheets in most seasons, and are generally considered decent-but-not-great quarterbacks.

Kirk Cousins Pegged in QB Tier below Derek Carr
Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr

Here’s the tale of the tape in each man’s last 75 starts:

Derek Carr v. Kirk Cousins,
Last 75 Starts:

Carr —
2,509 Passing Attempts
18,891 Passing Yds
107 Passing TDs
47 INTs
66.9 Completion %
95.6 Passer Rating
6 Rushing TDs
47 Fumbles

Cousins —
2,544 Passing Attempts
19,246 Passing Yds
142 Passing TDs
48 INTs
67.5 Completion %
100.6 Passer Rating
6 Rushing TDs
42 Fumbles

At first glance, Carr and Cousins may appear comparable, but it’s Cousins’ +35 touchdown mark that separates the pair. Cousins has been more productive in his career, while on the whole, the men can be classified as relatively comparable.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

So, where does Carr land? The answer is tricky. Some teams that have auditioned veteran passers in recent seasons, like the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers, may wish to be done with those unsuccessful experiments. However, those teams will be popular theories for Carr’s next home. Aside from the inevitable Colts and Panthers (and perhaps Commanders) mentions, Carr is likely to land with one of these teams via trade:

  • Green Bay Packers
  • New England Patriots
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New York Jets
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tennessee Titans

It is unclear what trade value Carr will command — perhaps a 3rd Rounder and conditional 1st or 2nd.

Since joining the NFL in 2014, Carr ranks seventh leaguewide in touchdown passes with 217. Carr was an MVP candidate in 2016 before missing the season’s final game and playoffs due to injury.

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).