Ex-Raiders QB Already on Hot Seat With New Team: Analyst

derek carr

Getty New Orleans Saints QB Derek Carr.

The Las Vegas Raiders made a major franchise pivot last offseason when they cut Derek Carr. He ended up signing with the New Orleans Saints and reunited with head coach Dennis Allen, who was Carr’s coach on the Raiders in 2014, his rookie season.

It wasn’t a perfect reunion because the Saints missed the playoffs after posting a 9-8 record, but Carr’s numbers — 25 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions — were solid. However, some fans were frustrated with him throughout the season, and he was the subject of boos.

Though he’s played only season with the team for one season and has at least one more season left on his four-year deal, Carr is already on the hot seat, according to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox.

“It would be unfair to say that Carr’s ‘just good enough’ play cost Carmichael his job, but it certainly didn’t help,” Knox wrote, referring to Pete Carmichael, the longtime offensive coordinator of the Saints who was fired on January 16. “With head coach Dennis Allen (likely) entering 2024 on the hot seat, Carr should do the same.

“Carr has $52.8 million in dead money remaining on his contract, so he’ll be back in 2024,” Knox wrote in his January 17 column. “Like Daniel Jones, though, he’ll be a realistic cut candidate in 2025 if he doesn’t deliver a playoff victory or two. New Orleans could release Carr next offseason with a post-June 1 designation and save $40 million in cap space.”

Based on his contract, Carr will have at least one more season to prove he’s the Saints’ franchise quarterback, but he could be on a shorter leash.

Jon Gruden Could Join New Orleans Saints Staff

One thing that could help Carr’s Saints tenure is the possible addition of Jon Gruden to the coaching staff. According to Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com, the former Raiders head coach is in the mix to join the Saints.

“The Saints are expected to make changes to their coaching staff in the wake of their disappointing 2023 season, and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden is being considered as a possible addition, sources said Monday,” Duncan wrote in a January 8 column.

The Saints’ firing of Carmichael could pave the way for Gruden to be the team’s offensive playcaller next season. However, general manager Mickey Loomis said he wasn’t ready to commit to a hire quite yet.

“I don’t want to talk about specific candidates for that role,” Loomis said when asked about Gruden as an offensive coordinator candidate, via Nick Underhill of NOF.

Gruden could be the Saints’ offensive coordinator next season but it appears the Saints are still looking at their options. It also remains to be seen if the former Super Bowl-winning head coach would be open to the role.

Derek Carr’s Familiarity With Jon Gruden’s Offense

Carr has had six different playcallers in his 10-year career. If the Saints were to hire Gruden as offensive coordinator, it would be an easy transition for Carr. He spent four seasons in Gruden’s system and knows it well.

For the Saints to hire somebody else, Carr would have to learn a new system from scratch. Greg Olson could also be an option as he’s also called plays for Carr in 2014 and again in 2021. Gruden would be a big-time hire but he does bring a lot of attention to the franchise due to his lawsuit with the NFL. Bringing on Gruden as an adviser and hiring Olson as offensive coordinator could be a realistic situation.

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