New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t happy with the way his career ended with the Las Vegas Raiders. Carr opened up about being benched last season, saying he was “very upset” with the way things played out.
After starting the first 15 games of the regular season, Carr was benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham. The Raiders lost their final two games, and Carr signed with the Saints in the offseason.
Carr, in particular, was upset that he didn’t have a final opportunity to play in front of Raiders fans one more time, according to Anthony Galaviz of the Fresno Bee.
“I was, for lack of a better term, I was very upset; I was mad,” he said.
“You spend nine years in a place, you have all the records and you can play at a high level and for something to get in the way, whether it was whatever reason, money related or whatever, injury related, I would have said I don’t even want the money, just to play two more times in front of our fans. I didn’t get that opportunity. So it definitely lit a fire inside me to keep going.”
The benching ended a frustrating season for Carr. He threw 24 touchdowns against 14 interceptions over 15 games. His 60.8 completion percentage was his lowest since his rookie season. While those numbers were good enough to get Carr to the Pro Bowl, they didn’t help the Raiders win. Carr went just 6-9 as a starter.
It was a disappointing end to Carr’s time with the Raiders. The team selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and watched him start nearly every single regular-season game for them over the next nine seasons.
Carr experienced plenty of success with the Raiders. He made three Pro Bowls with the team and finished third in the MVP voting in 2016, when he helped lead the team to a 12-4 record. Despite that success, Carr played in one playoff game for the Raiders, a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021.
Carr will look for a bounce-back season with the Saints after signing a four-year, $150 million deal with the team in the offseason. The Saints are seeking a solid option under center since Drew Brees retired after the 2020 NFL season. Carr should provide that, but unless he takes his game to another level, his presence likely won’t prevent the Saints from looking for better, younger options under center.