What does Derek Carr’s future look like in the NFL?

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"Henderson Training Facility, Las Vegas Raiders 04.2020" by planeta is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Coming into the 2022 season, many believed that the Las Vegas Raiders were going to have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. Many overlooked running back Josh Jacobs and drooled at the mouth over the duo of Derek Carr and Devante Adams. On paper, this could have been enough to break the league, and could have even propelled the Raiders into contenders in the AFC West. Despite this, less than one year after acquiring Adams, Carr appears to be on his way out of Las Vegas and trying to find where he can fit in the NFL. We will break down the beginning of Carr’s career with the Raiders, where things started to go wrong in 2022, and what Carr’s options are moving forward. 

Promising Start With the Raiders

Derek Carr was selected with the 4th pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Carr had made a name for himself at Fresno State, and along with this, his older brother David Carr was a well known quarterback of the Houston Texans. Carr was thrusted into the starting spot as soon as he got with the Raiders. He struggled greatly through his rookie season as a result of this, however, he still put together some presentable numbers. At the end of year one, Carr had racked up 3270 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with a record of 3-13. Outside of not being able to lead his team to wins, this was not a bad season at all for Carr, however, he would follow it up with his first ever Pro Bowl appearance in 2015. He would follow up his second year in the league with two more trips to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017. While his passing numbers (barring 2022) continued to steadily climb through the rest of his career, Carr began to fly under the radar a bit, no longer getting Pro Bowl selections. 2021 was by far his best year through the air in the NFL. He finished the year throwing for 4804 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. With Carr coming off of the best year of his career paired with Adams joining the team, many thought this would end up being one of the top passing duos in 2022, however, this did not end up being the case. 

Downfall of 2022

Carr had an abysmal 2022 season. All the progress that had occurred over the past seven years had seemingly gone out the window and his stats reverted back to looking like those in his rookie year. Before losing his starting job and being benched for the season, Carr threw for 3522 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. It was clear that things had come to an end for him in Las Vegas, however, because of his contract things have gotten a little tricky. The next year of Carr’s 2023 salary and part of his 2024 salary fully guarantees on 2/15/2023. Also in Carr’s contract is a no trade clause, meaning he gets to turn down a trade if he does not want to play for the team he is being sent to. With tampering being treated more seriously than ever, this leaves the Raiders stuck with nothing they can do legally according to the NFL rulebook for the time being.

Where Does Carr Go From Here?

It is clear that Carr is done in Las Vegas and team is ready to move forward at the quarterback position. However, Carr is still in a very good spot. He more or less gets to pick which team he will play more next season. As a result of this, he should force his way to a team that is in dire need of some quarterback help. Some teams to keep an eye on that would fit Carr’s goals of still being playoff contenders would be the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, or even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if they lose Tom Brady.