Derek Carr's 2022 season passer rating was the worst since his rookie season, fueling speculation that a change of scenery may be just what the doctor ordered. Fast forward to 2023, and the message is clear: Carr is feeling like a new man with the New Orleans Saints.
Carr released a strong message on his situation according to Rod Walker, a sports columnist for The Times-Picayune.
“Being in this building has rejuvenated me,” he said. “It's been a breath of fresh air.”
Carr, a 6-foot-3, 210 pound former second round pick out of Fresno State, is expected to become the Saints' sixth starting quarterback since Drew Brees retired. He is the team's projected starter at the position according to New Orleans' latest projected depth chart.
The rifle-armed quarterback threw for 3,522 yards last season in 15 games, a far cry from the 4,804 yards he threw for in 17 games the previous season.
His time with his previous team, the Las Vegas Raiders, was punctuated by reports of fractured relationships with teammates, emotional moments both on and off the field, and a general sense that the Raiders simply weren't the right fit for him.
Carr is expected to have a superior supporting cast around him in New Orleans compared to what he had in Las Vegas.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis said he believes Michael Thomas can “absolutely” be a 90-100 catch player. Record-setting receiver Chris Olave will join former second round Steelers pick James Washington as top targets.
Running back Alvin Kamara quietly put up 897 yards rushing and 497 yards receiving last season, showing his versatility.
Put it all together and it's easy to see why Derek Carr could be primed for a career year.
The season starts on September 10, with a home game against the Tennessee Titans.