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Derek Carr Signs With the Saints, Hoping To Revive His Career

Football, NCAAF, CFB, NFL article at Knup Sports

Derek Carr said “no” to the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers and signed with the New Orleans Saints, who hope he can regain the form that made him a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Quarterbacks normally dominate the off-season news in the NFL. And that certainly is the case this year, with big names like Aaron Rodgers being shopped around by the Green Bay Packers and Lamar Jackson testing the free agent waters. Former Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr has found a home.

He signed a four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints this week, picking them over the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Carr signed a four-year, $150 million deal that’s structured so the Saints won’t get too much of a salary cap hit. At least $60 million is guaranteed (that number could rise to $100 million), and there’s a no-trade clause. Not bad for a guy who fell out of favor with the Raiders.

Nine years with the Raiders

Carr, 31, was with the Raiders for nine years. He went from Oakland to Las Vegas with them. After being selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, he became the Raiders’ all-time passing leader, and he led them to their only two playoff appearances (2016 and 2021) since 2002. He also was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Carr had a great season in 2021, the best of his career. Despite a coaching change in the middle of the season, he threw for 4,804 yards, leading the Raiders to a playoff berth. After the season, the Raiders signed Carr to a three-year, $121.5 million contract extension.

Bummer Season

But 2022 was a bummer for Carr. He completed just 60.8 percent of his passes and had an 86.3 passer rating (both the lowest of his career), and he threw 24 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions (tied for his career-high) in 15 games. The Raiders were 6-9 with Carr under center.

Coach Josh McDaniels benched Carr with two games to go in the season, and Carr stepped away from the team. Carr left the Raiders with a final 63-79 career record.

Can Carr regain his touch in 2023? The Saints are counting on it after going 7-10 last season. They have struggled at the QB position since Drew Brees retired after the 2020 season. Will Carr be a placeholder for the Saints until they find a long-term solution, or will the change of scenery revive his career?

‘Thank you, Jesus”

The Saints certainly offer a lot for Carr. They play in a dome, there’s no dominant team in the NFC South, and Alvin Kamara, Chris Olava, and Michael Thomas are decent weapons. Thomas seems happy about Carr’s signing. He reposted two articles about it and wrote “Thank you, Jesus” on his timeline.

The Saints have a good defense. The defense kept New Orleans in a chase for a wild card spot until late in the season.

New Orleans coach Dennis Allen has a relationship with Carr. He was Carr’s first coach with the Raiders in 2014. Allen made the rookie Carr his starting QB, but he was fired just four games into the season.

Interestingly, the Packers could benefit from Carr signing with the Saints. How? Carr didn’t sign with the Jets, and now the Packers can get up the ante if the Jets want to make a deal for Rodgers.

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