When Josh McDaniels took over the Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coaching job last offseason, he had to believe that Derek Carr was going to be his starting quarterback going forward but he had to see how the partnership would work before fully committing. The team gave him a contract extension last offseason but protected themselves if things didn’t work out. Carr ended up having the worst season of his career under McDaniels and was released this offseason.
Carr had wanted to spend his entire career with the Raiders and even said he’d retire before playing elsewhere. That was before actually leaving the team became a reality. He was benched with two games left in the 2022 season and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to the hometown crowd. The Raiders tried to trade him to the New Orleans Saints but he turned used his no-trade clause to keep a trade from happening.
Though things didn’t end on the best of terms, Carr isn’t mad at the team. He decided to clear the air and made it known that he isn’t upset with McDaniels or general manager Dave Ziegler.
“I’ve got no hard feelings for them,” Carr said Friday at Southern Highlands Country Club, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Maybe there’s a difference of opinion in certain things, but that’s in anything. … I want Josh and Dave to have success.”
Carr is no longer playing in Las Vegas but he has no plans to completely abandon the city and will continue to own a home in the city.
“Vegas will always be home,” Carr said.
Carr Believes He Went to Special Situation
Carr had a few suitors in free agency but the Saints got a head start on wooing him. Former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is the man in charge in New Orleans so that gave the team an advantage. Carr acknowledged that he wasn’t planning to play for any teams outside of Las Vegas but the situation that the Saints presented him was too good to pass up.
“Like I had said before, I didn’t want to play anywhere else (besides the Raiders),” he said. “So it was going to have to take a really, really special situation for me to want to play somewhere else.”
Carr has had to play in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions throughout his entire career and has only played in one playoff game. He’s now in the league’s weakest division the NFC South. He’s excited about the possibilities in New Orleans.
“A very special situation,” Carr said. “I am so fired up.”
Carr Will ‘Always Be a Raider’
Carr leaves the Raiders as the most prolific passer in franchise history. If the team does decide to build around a rookie quarterback in the near future, it’s going to take a long time to pass Carr up in the history books. While he was never able to get the Raiders over the hump, he will always be an important part of the history of the franchise. He knows that his connection to the Raiders will last forever but he’s focusing on his new team now.
“I will always be a Raider,” Carr said. “But right now I am a Saint, and I am excited about leaving my legacy there as well.”