After months of speculation, Derek Carr has decided on his next NFL home, and it’s not the destination we’d been led to believe it would likely land. No, Carr has not signed with the New York Jets. The former Las Vegas/Oakland Raider has signed a long-term contract with the New Orleans Saints and is now the best quarterback in the NFC South.
While this decision could prove to be the right one, it certainly doesn’t feel like it moves the needle much. All the talk over the past few weeks about Carr heading east to play with the Jets potentially was exciting due to the division. The QB matchups in the AFC East were far more intriguing than what we could see in the NFC South.
Obviously, Carr’s done what’s in his best interest while choosing a familiar path. Saints head coach Dennis Allen was coaching the Raiders when Carr was drafted in 2014. So, there’s that familiarity even if they were only together briefly. Allen only lasted four games into the ’14 campaign, his third in Oakland.
Instead of matchups like Carr vs. Josh Allen or Tua Tagovailoa, fans can look forward to Carr battling whoever the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Falcons throw on the field. This signing would mean much more if Sean Payton were still running the show in New Orleans. Sure, offensive coordinator, Pete Carmichael is still there, but somehow it just doesn’t feel the same.
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The good news for Saints fans is that you now have the best QB in the division, even if by default. Every other team in the NFC South has questions at the position and could be looking to the NFL draft for answers. New Orleans still has a pretty good defense and has added a Pro Bowl QB to the mix. Anything less than a division crown and nine wins in 2023 will be disappointing. Unless another team in the division can land Aaron Rodgers or Lamar Jackson, Carr and New Orleans should be on easy street this season.