Tom Brady (as great as he is) has set some very unreal expectations for the generations of quarterbacks to follow him.
After watching Brady’s return to glory last season, winning his seventh Lombardi Trophy, and adding another Super Bowl MVP to his mantle, it now seems like every QB out there feels they can also play well into their 40s.
Aaron Rodgers won his third NFL MVP award last season at the age of 37. Rodgers accomplished this after two down years, statistically (for him), where he failed to throw 30 touchdowns. Russell Wilson has also expressed his desire to play past 40. Despite having never received an MVP vote, Wilson is a great QB and currently ranks among the top five at his position.
But now that Brady has in many ways liberated and empowered his QB fraternity, everyday run-of-the-mill players of the position look to follow in the GOAT’s footsteps as well.
Enter Derek Carr. Age 30. The (barely) starting QB of the Las Vegas Raiders recently shared his thoughts and plans for how long he would like to play in the No Fun League. Speaking with ESPN Carr broke it down on Wednesday:
“I feel like I can play another 15 years, without a doubt. Nothing’s hurting. It’s the middle of camp, and I feel great. I feel strong, I feel fast, I feel explosive. And I think it’s just the way we train now.”
Sure, the way players train today is more advanced than even 10 years ago and the same can be said about their nutrition as well. There is one tiny fact we’re forgetting when it comes to Carr thinking, feeling, wanting to play another 10-15 years. Carr is NOT, and I repeat IS NOT in the same stratosphere as the aforementioned QBs. He should be grateful just being in the same league as guys like Brady, Rodgers, or Wilson. Carr isn’t even in the tier under those three.
Maybe he was talking about playing in some other league?! Hey this is Vegas. Puff the Magic Dragon, anyone? Carr has big dreams and aspirations, which is great, but he has another year or two max as the Raiders starting QB.
Carr had a nice 2020 statistically but it’s about more than numbers. In his seven years with the Raiders Carr has led his franchise to the playoffs just once (2014), with only one winning record, that same year. It’s great to hear that Carr feels good and feels like he can play until he’s 45, but his play on the field is what dictates how long he will or won’t play in the league. I wonder if Carr is talking about being a starter until the age of 40 like Brady? Or is he hoping to hang around on the sideline as a backup holding the iPad for the starter? More of a mentor for the younger generation. That isn’t anything new. We’ve seen this before. Journeymen QBs playing into their early 40s, but what Brady is attempting to do at the level he continues to play is different.
Posting pretty numbers is fine. But eventually, those pretty stats will need to accompany a lot more winning if Carr plans to be a starter in the NFL for another decade.