NFL Free Agency is officially underway! A lot of movement is expected in the coming months, especially at the quarterback position. It all starts with the New Orleans Saints who will sign Derek Carr!
Derek Carr leaves the Las Vegas Raiders as their all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and games played by a QB. Unfortunately, his nine-year career with the Raiders saw him appear in only one playoff game, a loss to the Bengals in the 2021-22 season.
His 2022-23 season saw his stats take a hit, with Carr's lowest completion percentage since his rookie year, his fewest passing yards and lowest passer rating since 2017, and a career-worst interception rate.
I don't think it's all a loss for Carr, as he did have his best touchdown rate since 2017, and his receivers dealt with injuries all year. His leading receiver after Davante Adams was Mack Hollins. Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller missed a combined 15 games, really hurting Carr's ceiling.
The four-time pro-bowler has found a new home and will take his talents to New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints Sign Derek Carr
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New Orleans Side
Carr joins a New Orleans team in a wide-open NFC South. His receiving corp has potential, the problem is they couldn't stay healthy. Michael Thomas played well in his short three-game stint in 2022 before missing the rest of the year to injury. Jarvis Landry played in nine games.
New Orleans does have a young and exciting talent by the name of Chris Olave who accumulated over 1000 yards last season. Rashid Shaheed was another intriguing 2022 rookie talent for the Saints, but I have little doubt they will be exploring options to strengthen their receiving room in 2023.
Despite his 2022 struggles, I believe Carr has enough left in the tank to keep Olave and at least one more pass catcher afloat and relevant for fantasy next season. The question is just going to be "how relevant?" Alvin Kamara has a suspension incoming, which should open more passing work to Olave. Who receives the rushing attempts is anyone's guess, but Taysom Hill will definitely be involved in addition to whomever they may bring in or even someone on the current roster. Shaheed may get some more work on the ground as well in a Deebo Samuel-type role.
All in all, I don't see Carr with QB1 ceiling in New Orleans given their situation and his history of production. He more than likely remains a mid-range QB2, perfect for a bye week fill in or as your second QB in superflex/2 QB formats.
Las Vegas Side
It's still too early to see how his departure affects the rest of the Raiders' roster. They currently don't have a quarterback, or at least not one they've committed to. They might have to trade up a few spots from seven in the 2023 NFL Draft to select one of Will Levis or Anthony Richardson if they prefer one over the other.
The other option is to go out and acquire a veteran quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo.
There is a lot up in the air for them, finding a new QB and resigning Josh Jacobs being two of them.