Derek Carr, QB, #4, Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Getty Images)

Why The Raiders’ Derek Carr Era Will Eventually Be Forgotten

Take a minute and think about the best players in NFL history. Players that may quickly come to mind are Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor, and Jim Brown. More specifically, for the Las Vegas Raiders’ organization – players like Charles Woodson, Ken Stabler, Howie Long, Jim Otto, Jim Plunkett, and Lyle Alzado come naturally to the forefront of one’s mind. Why? Because they brought charismatic personalities along with winning to the Raider organization. The franchise embodied phrases such as “Just Win, Baby!” and “Commitment to Excellence.” Now you tell me, does Derek Carr belong in the halls of those players, let alone those phrases?

Derek Carr was Inconsistent and Mediocre

Carr had a win/loss record of 63-79 as the Raiders starter throughout his nine-year stint with the organization. While football is a team game, a quality (or non-quality) starting quarterback will make or break your franchise. Regardless of the turmoil between coaches, coordinators, terrible defenses, and abysmal drafting, the primary question is whether Derek Carr pulled his weight. Aside from one anomaly year in 2016 (where he received just six MVP votes), the Fresno State alum’s resume is lacking. History remembers the victor, and it’s clear he was not that. Additionally, Carr showed his true colors at the end of the line, which should have many questioning his motives/intentions.

Carr’s Final Season Showed He Wasn’t a Winner

With the NFL’s top wide receiver, running back, and an average offensive line, many expected that 2022 would be the season Carr would take off. Newly appointed head coach Josh McDaniels had the Las Vegas Raiders in a position to make the playoffs in December, despite some abysmal performances by the team and Carr himself. With everything on the line in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carr crumbled against the Pittsburgh Steelers in what would be his final meaningful game as a member of the Raider organization.

Hindsight is 20/20, but throwing one touchdown versus three interceptions when your team needs you most is nothing worth being remembered for. However, the final pass of his career is the taste he will leave in many people’s minds. Not only was he not a winner on the field, but his passive-aggressive antics sealed his fate.

The NFL is a Business, and Derek Carr Forgot

When Derek Carr was benched for Jarrett Stidham for the final two weeks of the season, the first decision Derek made was to remove himself from the team that was still in the playoff hunt. The NFL is a business; if you produce – you play. If you do not, you don’t – it’s a relatively simple concept. However, over the years, Carr believed that he was untouchable. Through years of constant offseason chatter, he remained regardless of the coaching staff or front office. However, general manager David Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels are not in the business of coddling – they are strictly in business. As evidenced by Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter, when everyone was given an even playing field to prove themselves – Carr took exception to criticism. As a leader, he talked the talk but didn’t walk despite players such as Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Maxx Crosby producing.

Final Thoughts on Derek Carr

Sure, Derek Carr had some outstanding performances for the Silver and Black. He is a more than capable quarterback with all the tools to succeed, whether with his arm or legs. However, his competitive toughness is lacking. Whether it was checking the ball down, refusing to use his legs to get a first down, or horrendous ball security, there was a lot of football left on the field for the Raiders. Expect the Raiders to return to their roots of players who prioritize the “Shield” above all else — not just in words, but in actions. History remembers the victor, and once a winning signal-caller arrives in Las Vegas, the Derek Carr era will be a figment of many people’s imaginations. One hundred years from now, there will be no legends of Carr because, ultimately, he never won anything meaningful in his career with the Raiders.

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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