Throughout Derek Carr’s career, he thought he’d be finishing his career with the Las Vegas Raiders. He even went so far as to say he’d rather retire than play for another team. The Raiders put that to the test in 2022 when they benched him with two games left and eventually released him.
Carr wasn’t ready to go out that way and he’s only 31 years old. He ended up landing with the New Orleans Saints and is ready for a fresh start. He spent nine years with the Raiders and is the all-time leading passer in franchise history. He’ll always have an important place in the organization despite the lack of winning during his tenure. On Saturday, Carr was introduced as a member of the Saints. Despite the disappointing end with the Raiders, he made sure to send a message to the team and owner Mark Davis.
“Thank you to the Raiders. Oakland, Las Vegas,” Carr said. “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say thank you to them. I had nine great years there. A lot of great memories. A lot of hard times, a lot of fun times. A lot of kids since then, in those days.
“Mr. Davis and the Raiders organization, thank you. I wouldn’t be here without them, and wouldn’t be here if you didn’t pick me in that spot.”
Carr Says Coming to Saints Is ‘Dream-Come-True’
Heading into last season, it looked like Carr wasn’t going to be a Raider for a long time. The team traded for his close friend and college teammate Davante Adams. They then gave him a three-year contract extension. Any rumors about him not having a future under new head coach Josh McDaniels were squashed.
That was until the Raiders dropped to 6-9 last season and the team made the tough choice to bench him. Carr now is reuniting with his former head coach Dennis Allen and is happy with how things turned out.
“This is really a dream-come-true moment for me,” Carr said.
Allen was previously the head coach of the Raiders before getting fired during the 2014 season, which was Carr’s rookie season. Even though they didn’t work together long, Carr is very high on Allen.
“How I feel about this man, hopefully me sitting here tells you what I think about him,” Carr said of Allen. “He trusted me with the keys to an organization. . . . We’re just getting started, though. All that’s in the past.”
Carr Talks Leadership Role With Saints
Carr developed as a very good leader with the Raiders over years and was able to guide the team through some tough circumstances. He’s now joining a team full of players who have won a lot of games and have already established themselves as leaders. Carr made it clear that he’s coming to New Orleans to support them.
“I’m not coming in here to try to take anything over,” he said. “I’m going to be me and I’m going to call out what I want to call out. I’m going to encourage what I think should be encouraged, but I’m here to do this with Cam [Jordan], DeMario [Davis], Tyrann [Mathieu], Taysom [Hill], Alvin [Kamara] and Mike [Thomas].
“If we want to go far, we have to go together. It’s not just because Derek shows up that we are going to do anything special. It’s because we all decided as a collective unit to go in one direction and do it the same way. That starts in OTAs in April and getting everybody here and getting to work if we want to do what we want to do.”