After being released by the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr has reportedly signed with the New Orleans Saints. At first sight, this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the Jacskonville Jaguars but one look at their list of 2023 opponents shows that they’ll face the Saints in the regular season.
Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reported early Monday that Carr was closing in on a four-year contract with New Orleans. The Raiders were shopping the veteran quarterback before releasing him and granted him permission to talk to the Saints’ brass. However, a deal didn’t materialize, and parted ways with him on February 14. Had Las Vegas kept him beyond that day, they would’ve been on the hook for a guaranteed $40 million over the next two years.
Update: Ian Rapoport reports Carr’s contract is for four years and it’s worth $150 million with $100 million in total guarantees. $60 million at signing, another $10 million in Year 3.
Talk about Carr joining the Saints started heading up late Sunday and they got a deal done by Monday morning. Coincidentally, Peter King of NBC Sports had said in his latest Good Morning Football column that the former Fresno Bulldog’s market was “lukewarm at best“.
Carr had met with the New York Jets earlier this month but didn’t reach a deal because they’re also reportedly interested in trading for Aaron Rodgers. The Carolina Panthers and the Tennesse Titans had also shown interest in the former Raiders quarterback, so it’s possible that the Saints swooped in before other teams could sign him.
A second-round in the 2014 draft, Carr holds set several team records during his nine-year tenure with the Raiders, including the most passing yards in franchise history (35,222), the most passing touchdowns (217), and the most yards in a single season with 4,804. On the other hand, he’s only made the playoffs once in his career and leads the league in lost fumbles since 2014 with 36.
Derek Carr will try to get his 2nd career win vs. the Jaguars in 2023
In 2023, Carr will face the Jacksonville Jaguars and he’ll try to beat them for the second time in his career. He’s currently 1-2 against them, having lost against them last year and in the Raiders’ last game at Oakland in 2019. Although the date for the matchup hasn’t been assigned, it will be an away game.
All things considered, the Jags can’t afford to take Carr lightly. He will is significantly better than Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, the top 2 quarterbacks on the Saints’ roster last season. Moreover, he won’t have to carry New Orleans on his shoulders, as they had one of the best defenses in the league in 2022, ranking fifth in points allowed and ninth in total yards.
This is the first time in his career that Carr will have a top-10 defense and he could be precisely what quarterback the Saints needed to return to the playoffs after a two-year drought. On the other hand, Jacskonville showed in 2022 that they can put on points on the scoreboard at a high rate, so this will be an intriguing matchup to watch.
Working in Jacksonville’s favor is that Carr will struggle if he doesn’t have a good supporting cast. You could argue that the same is true for every quarterback but the truth is that Carr isn’t in the same echelon as Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow, both of whom have overcome less-than-ideal situations.
In the end, it’s hard to quantify how much impact Derek Carr will have for the Saints in 2023. But one thing is sure, the Jaguars had better be ready for them if they don’t want to leave Caesars Superdome with a loss in 2023.