The 2023 NFL off-season was set ablaze when Derek Carr, originally drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2014, moved to the New Orleans Saints. As the 2024 season begins to unfold, questions are mounting over Carr's future with the Saints, especially after their rocky 3-4 start.
With a disappointing primetime loss now on his record, Carr is at a crucial juncture. Veteran sports analyst Peter King, speaking on Pro Football Talk, posited that Tom Brady's influence indirectly shaped Derek Carr's departure from the Raiders.
According to King, Raiders' head coach Josh McDaniels was in search of a quarterback with a Tom Brady-esque quick decision-making ability—something he felt Carr lacked. "Tom Brady sets the bar when it comes to executing a precision offense," King remarked.
"With Carr, the same level of efficiency and quick decision-making hasn't been consistent, leaving McDaniels and potentially Saints' coach Dennis Allen with reason for concern."
Saints' Struggles Continue
This scrutiny is only intensifying as the Saints find themselves below .500 following a dramatic loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Trailing 24-9 in the fourth quarter, Carr orchestrated a late-game surge but ultimately fell short, missing several chances to tie the game and force overtime. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence seized the moment, connecting with Christian Kirk for a 44-yard touchdown, sealing a 31-24 win for the Jaguars.
It's a challenging situation for the Saints and their fans, who are still nostalgic for the Drew Brees era. Although Carr is financially secure through the 2024 season, the team could use him as a bridge to a rookie quarterback.
However, the Saints face an uphill battle in securing a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, with nine teams currently ahead of them, including Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos and Justin Fields' Chicago Bears. The question looming over the franchise is whether to continue building around Derek Carr or to start plotting an exit strategy.
The team has yet to reach the midway point of the season, so there's no immediate pressure to make a definitive choice. However, the recent struggles have undoubtedly set the wheels in motion behind closed doors. With the majority of the season still ahead, the Saints face tough decisions that could define the franchise's direction for years to come.