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Pro-Bowl QB Derek Carr Signs Big Money Contract with New Team

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Former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has agreed to a four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, two people familiar with the agreement said Monday.

The sources spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement with the veteran free-agent QB had not been announced.

Carr played nine seasons for the Raiders and holds team records for yards passing (35,222) and touchdown passes (217). But after struggling late last season, Carr was benched with two games remaining.

Carr, who turns 32 on March 28, was released by Las Vegas on Feb. 14 after he declined to waive the no-trade clause in his contract. Las Vegas needed to trade or release him by that date or $40.4 million of his contract over the next two years would have become fully guaranteed.

The knock on Carr was that his tenure as the Raiders’ starting QB produced just two playoff appearances and no postseason victories. Now Carr will have an opportunity in New Orleans to demonstrate that he can get better results with a different organization.

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Carr all but confirmed the agreement with a social media post in which he wrote the common Saints fan chant, “Who dat,” followed by a fleur-de-lis symbol, similar to those on Saints helmets. The post included a video of Saints safety and New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu leading a pre-game chant of: “Who dat say dey gonna’ beat dem Saints!” (The pronunciation of “th” as a “d” is a nod to accents prevalent among Louisiana natives with French heritage).

Carr indicated during the week of the Pro Bowl that a talk with Peyton Manning encouraged him to explore free agency. The Indianapolis Colts released Manning in 2012, and he went on to win a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos after the 2015 season.

“I’m just looking for teams that have made that decision consistently that they’ll do whatever it takes to put a winning program out there,” Carr said on Feb. 2. “So for me, that’s just to win, win a championship. That’s at the forefront of the mind. It’s not money.”

Since 2006, the Saints have made the playoffs nine times and won a Super Bowl, but all of those postseason appearances came with franchise all-time passer Drew Brees as quarterback and Sean Payton as coach. Now Brees is retired, and Payton is with the Denver Broncos.

Will Carr be a good fit for the Saints?

Saints coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders’ coach when the club selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. Allen coached Carr for four games before he was fired that year.

The signing should provide a measure of stability for the Saints at an all-important position that was shrouded in uncertainty following the club’s 7-10 2022 season.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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