The NY Jets are considered to be the favorites to sign free-agent quarterback Derek Carr at the time of writing. Carr's visit with the Jets last week reportedly went "very well" as both sides erased any preconceived concerns they had about the potential fit.
While the Jets are still awaiting Aaron Rodgers' decision, there's a very real chance that the 10-time Pro Bowler isn't available this offseason. If that's the case, the Jets would almost certainly pivot to Carr.
But what might Carr's market look like? With the Jets, New Orleans Saints, and reportedly at least three other teams lurking, what is Carr asking for? Reports suggest a very reasonable number.
ESPN's Dianna Russini reported on Friday that Carr is looking for a deal that will pay him $35+ million per year. Given reports that New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is asking for $40-45 million, that's a very fair figure, especially on the open market.
The NY Jets shouldn't have to break the bank for Derek Carr
Of course, $35 million is still a lot of money, but given that Carr is likely a top-15 quarterback hitting free agency, it's hard to argue that's not a very appealing dollar amount for prospective teams.
$35 million would tie Kirk Cousins for the ninth-highest average salary among QBs in the NFL. It would place him just ahead of the likes of Jared Goff ($33.5) and Carson Wentz ($32) and a significant step below Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford who are each making $40 million per year.
Teams generally have to overpay for players in free agency, and that notion is especially true for quarterbacks, but Carr's asking price seems to be reasonable.
Russini does note that Carr is looking for at least $35 million per year, so it's certainly possible that number climbs closer to $40 million. Of course, the total guarantees might be even more important.
Still, it seems as though any concerns that the Jets would have to break the bank for Carr on the open market are unfounded. Unless a significant bidding war takes place, the Jets should be able to sign Carr for a fair amount, provided they're interested.
The Jets will continue to wait for Rodgers' ultimate decision before proceeding further with Carr, but it's nice to know that the team has a very suitable backup plan if the Rodgers plan falls through.