Derek Carr's days as Raiders quarterback are over. After the veteran's abrupt demotion at the end of the 2022 NFL season, he informed the Raiders that he would not accept a trade. As a result, the Raiders informed Carr on Tuesday that he has been released. He can sign with a new team immediately instead of waiting until the start of the new league year on March 15.

Nearly a decade into his career, and just a year removed from another lucrative contract extension, Carr claims he "just wants to win" on his next team. So where, exactly, is the best landing spot for the QB? We know at least several clubs will inquire, but from Carr's perspective, what's the ideal fit? Here's how we'd sort it:

Best fits

We genuinely believe Carr likes the idea of picking up where his brother left off. He even said previously that he wished the Texans would've drafted him in 2014. DeMeco Ryans ' addition as head coach certainly helps. But they're too clearly in rebuild mode for any kind of title-chasing, which he covets.
Before they axed offensive coordinator Todd Downing, an old friend, they might've made sense as a cheaper, younger replacement for Ryan Tannehill. But like the Colts, even their open division doesn't fully offset the fact this team -- also challenged in terms of receiver depth -- is better suited for longer-term investments. From Carr's perspective, you could do worse than a team-up with Mike Vrabel and Derrick Henry.
Forever in need of a QB, the Colts feel far more likely to address the position through the draft, especially with new coach Shane Steichen recently tutoring young stars like Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. But if, for whatever reason, their front office prefers to rebuild the trenches and go the veteran route once more, Carr might be attracted to such an open division. Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman are also nice weapons, but behind an increasingly iffy O-line, there are still question marks.
It's kind of painful to call them a "best fit" for anyone, just because of the questions surrounding ownership and the consistently mediocre track record of Ron Rivera since his latter days in Carolina. The O-line and play-calling duties remain major "ifs." But they have some of the makings of a would-be contender: a solid two-man backfield, a legitimate WR1 in Terry McLaurin , and a defensive line capable of spoiling opposing trenches.
Carr may not be eager to pair up with Josh McDaniels' mentor after an unceremonious exit from Vegas, but everyone respects Bill Belichick at some level. The O-line is an area of need (this will sound familiar as we go), and of course there's Mac Jones ' future to worry about. And yet doesn't Carr feel exactly like the kind of gutsy leader to embrace a "Patriot Way," especially under a coordinator in Bill O'Brien who's succeeded with traditional pocket QBs? Rhamondre Stevenson could be Carr's new Josh Jacobs , and New England has money to retool the WRs. All in all, they just fit the bill of the prestigious program Carr's seeking.
Dennis Allen may not be a universally heralded coach, but Carr knows and respects him from their brief time together with the Raiders, back in 2014. Once again, blocking could be a concern. The Saints are also lacking in excess resources, as per usual. But Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave are premium weapons when healthy, Allen has proven he can still guide an elite defense, and the NFC South should be up for grabs.
They looked old, slow and injured for much of 2022, but that doesn't mean they're lacking in playoff-caliber talent: you can do a lot worse than Leonard Fournette , Rachaad White , Mike Evans , Chris Godwin and Russell Gage at the skill spots, with the Ryan Jensen-anchored line also likely to get healthier. Like the Saints, they may have a lower ceiling with a conservative defensive coach, and they lack money for big upgrades. But in their division (and sunshine!), Carr could easily talk himself into a Tampa Bay trip.
An underrated factor here may be the New York market: does Carr, who's enjoyed relative anonymity among longtime QBs, want the frenzy of the Big Apple while teaming up with failed ex-Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett, the new OC? The Jets also have to figure out their own O-line. Still, everything else is set up for a playoff run: the backfield is stocked, the WR room is young and emergent, and Robert Saleh's "D" is finally coming into its own. Hackett, by the way, has traditionally valued the kind of quick-strike game Carr has enjoyed.
Carolina might -- and probably should -- prefer to take a longer view here, with new coach Frank Reich surely sick of "quick fixes" under center. But for Carr, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better spot. Reich is a known QB whisperer despite juggling countless starters in recent years. He's probably the best coach in their division already. And then there's the rest of the roster, which boasts long-term stars at premium positions, from D.J. Moore (WR) to Brian Burns (DE) to Jaycee Horn (CB). In a wide-open South, and sunny Carolina weather, Carr might enjoy his smoothest ride back to the postseason. The catch, again, is convincing Carolina to match interest.