Derek Carr is no longer a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, but he remains closely linked to the team. He spent nine years as the starting quarterback and has still yet to take a snap for the New Orleans Saints. The ending of his Raiders tenure didn’t go according to plan.
He was benched following a Week 16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he threw three interceptions. Once the offseason came around, the Raiders decided to release Carr and he eventually signed a contract with the Saints. He kept quiet about his feelings regarding what happened with the team for a while, but now he has opened up a bit. He even expressed how angry he felt about getting benched.
“I was, for lack of a better term, I was very upset; I was mad,” Carr said in a June 26 interview with the Fresno Bee, “You spend nine years in a place, you have all the records and you can play at a high level and for something to get in the way, whether it was whatever reason, money related or whatever, injury related, I would have said I don’t even want the money, just to play two more times in front of our fans. I didn’t get that opportunity. So it definitely lit a fire inside me to keep going.”
While any player who gets benched is going to be upset, some Raiders fans were not happy with Carr’s comments. One fan pointed out that the quarterback deserved to get benched after getting outplayed by Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett in the Week 16 loss.
Carr joined the Raiders in 2014 and the team had not been to the playoffs since 2002 prior to his arrival. Some don’t think the team’s mediocrity is a good enough excuse for his play on the field.
Another fan pointed out that Carr hasn’t yet earned the right to take shots at the Raiders.
Carr has frequently taken accountability for the team’s losses in the past, but a fan pointed out that he believes the quarterback isn’t practicing what he preaches.
2023 Can Prove if Losing Was Derek Carr’s or Las Vegas Raiders’ Fault
Derek Carr is the most prolific pass in Raiders history with 35,222 career passing yards and 217 passing touchdowns. However, he also holds a record that many quarterbacks wouldn’t be proud of. His 79 career losses as a starter are the most in franchise history. Ken Stabler played in fewer career games (130 to 142) but won more games (69 to 63). As noted earlier, the Raiders missed the playoffs consistently for over a decade before Carr arrived so it’s difficult to know if the losing ways were on him or the team.
This year can reveal the truth depending on the health of the Saints and Raiders. If Las Vegas makes it to the playoffs with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting quarterback and New Orleans doesn’t, it would be much easier to place the blame on Carr. If the Saints win the NFC South while the Raiders pick in the top 10 of the draft again, Carr’s case gets much stronger.
Derek Carr Enjoying Time With New Orleans Saints
Regardless of who is at fault for the Raiders’ struggles, Derek Carr is now the quarterback of the Saints. Though he’s only been with the team for a short time, he’s having a great time playing with his new teammates.
“We had a great offseason as a team, really came together and the work on the football field is very competitive,” Carr told the Fresno Bee.
“It’s one of the more competitive, as many camps I’ve ever been a part of. We have so many veterans that are really trying to prove it every day and trying to beat each other every day, talking trash. It was so competitive and so fun to be a part of.”