Football Team

Carr or Darnold? Chris Cooley would rather WFT trade for Raiders QB

Football Team

With Matthew Stafford headed to Los Angeles and the Texans refusing to answer calls about Deshaun Watson, two potential veteran quarterbacks the Washington Football Team could attempt to acquire this offseason are Derek Carr and Sam Darnold.

Despite Carr having one of the best years of his career in 2020, the Raiders will reportedly listen to trade inquires made for him. Darnold remains under contract for the Jets, but the team has the No. 2 overall pick and a new regime. Moving on from the 2018 No. 3 overall pick is a real possibility in New York.

On a recent episode of the Kevin Sheehan Show, ex-Washington tight end Chris Cooley was asked which of the two quarterbacks he would rather his former team trade for. It didn't take long for him to come up with his answer.

"I'd take Carr over Darnold," Cooley said.


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Watching Carr over the past two seasons, Cooley emphasized the quarterback's ability to take care of the football as a positive while saying the Raiders signal-caller still has room to grow.

"I've watched Derek Carr over the past two years on the All-22 and he is not a risk-taker as much as he should be," Cooley said. "He probably could make more throws down the field, probably could make more plays. But [he] is also smart with the football."


Turnovers were an issue in Carr's game earlier in his career. In his first two seasons, Carr threw 25 total interceptions and had 20 fumbles, 14 recovered by the opposing team.

While Carr cutback on interceptions this past year (9), he did lead the NFL in fumbles lost with eight. So, Carr's ball security might not be as great as Cooley says.

To evaluate quarterbacks, Cooley relies heavily on ESPN's own QBR formula rather than the league's quarterback rating statistic. In ESPN's QBR, Carr has graded very well the last two seasons.

"The last two years, Carr was 11th and 10th in [ESPN's] QBR," Cooley said. "In the 2020 season, Carr's QBR was higher than Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, Daniel Jones, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Burrow. He was 11th in total QBR this year at ESPN. In 2019, he was 10th."

And, while Cooley admitted he hasn't watched as much of Darnold as he has Carr, the former tight end has seen enough from the Jets passer to feel more comfortable with the Raiders veteran.

"I've seen enough of Darnold to see that he's got some emotional issues," Cooley said. "There are just some things he's said on the sideline, some moments where it's looked like he's panicked."

Cooley didn't rule out Darnold being able to turn it around, though, as he cited the Jets head coaching failure in Adam Gase and the lack of weapons New York surrounded their once-prized QB with.

As it stands now, Carr is the more accomplished quarterback than Darnold. However, Carr is six years older than the Jets passer and would likely cost more to acquire than Darnold will.

While both passers would likely be an upgrade to Washington's quarterback situation, there's no telling how much better the team will be if they acquire either one of them.