Derek Carr Joins Vikings Rival

Don't Sleep on a Certain Section of the Vikings Schedule in 2023
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Ending a nine-year run with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022, veteran quarterback Derek Carr is nearing the end of his free-agent world tour.

Carr will reportedly become the QB1 of the New Orleans Saints, a team near the upper edge of the Minnesota Vikings most-hated rivals.

Derek Carr Joins Vikings Rival

A few teams contemplated onboarding Carr this offseason, including the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and of course, the Saints.

Derek Carr Joins Vikings Rival
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ESPN’s Mike Garafolo tweeted Monday morning, “The Saints are closing in on a deal with QB Derek Carr, sources tell me and Ian Rapoport. After nine seasons with the Raiders, the four-time Pro Bowl selection is headed to New Orleans. The first QB domino is about to fall and one NFC South team has its starter.”

Carr has forever lived in the “Kirk Cousins category,” where fans and pundits debate ad nauseam whether the man is an effective QB1. He’s productive, fairly durable, and clutch at times, but his team generally flounders. Along with Cousins and Matthew Stafford, Carr is a posterchild for the exhausting “QB Wins” debate.

During the Carr era with the Raiders, from 2014 to 2022, his team’s defense ranked 32nd in the NFL per EPA/Play over the course of nine seasons. The Raiders were 63-79 (.443) on Carr’s watch.

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Carr, who turns 32 later this month, should relish the fresh start, especially with a franchise that doesn’t blatantly ignore defense like the Raiders. During the same timeframe, from 2014 to 2022, New Orleans ranked 19th in the NFL via defensive EPA/Play — which is a tad bit better than the worst in the business sponsored by Las Vegas. Too, Saints skipper Dennis Allen has a defensive background, coordinating New Orleans’ defense from 2015 to 2021 before taking the big job in 2022.

The Saints have struggled to nail down the QB1 spot since Drew Brees retired two years ago, so the working theory is that Carr can do just that. Since Brees left the sport, Andy Dalton (14 starts), Jameis Winston (10), Trevor Siemian (4), Ian Book (1), and sprinklings of Taysom Hill have started games at quarterback for New Orleans.

Derek Carr a Better Bet than Kirk Cousins for 2022, per Bleacher Report
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The Saints haven’t drafted a QB in Rounds 1 or 2 of the NFL Draft in the last 50 years, and that streak will likely remain intact after the Carr addition. The last time New Orleans spent a 1st-Rounder on a quarterback was in 1971 — Archie Manning, who also played for the Vikings 13 years after entering the business.

Ian Rapoport tweeted about the Carr transaction, “The Saints are giving their new QB Derek Carr a 4-year deal, source said. With a big QB number coming, they’ll make it work with their cap situation.”

The financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Since joining the NFL in 2014, Carr ranks seventh leaguewide in touchdown passes (217) and 21st in passer rating, with a 91.8 (min. 50 starts).

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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