Las Vegas Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell Takes Over No. 4 With Derek Carr Out

Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell Takes Over “No. 4” In The Post-Derek Carr Era

Let’s face it: mid- to late-May is one of the slowest periods for NFL fans. Followers of the Las Vegas Raiders aren’t immune to this; case in point: a recent debate raging among Raider Nation. As the NFLPA released photos of their 2023 Rookie Premiere class, one couldn’t help but notice something. The Silver and Black’s newest signal-caller, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, rocked a familiar digit—none other than No. 4, wow. That’s right, the number worn for nearly a decade by the recently jettisoned Derek Carr.

Just when you think that Raiders fans are moving on from the Carr era, they get a grim reminder. Whether people will admit it or not, Carr’s tenure as quarterback was one of the most polarizing times for fans. There were plenty of individual accolades, a couple of playoff berths, and a coaching carousel—that’s how Carr’s time will likely be remembered, fair or not.

The Raiders have their “quarterback of the future,” right?

After a tumultuous season under the new regime led by Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler, the Raiders opted to move on from Carr. In response, Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer were signed. However, that wasn’t all; the team’s brain trust drafted O’Connell in the fourth round. Many aren’t too excited about his prospects with the Raiders, but there’s still potential. What no one saw coming was him getting anointed with Carr’s number.

Derek Carr or Aidan O’Connell—are Raiders fans justified in their anger?

As you can imagine, fans on Twitter had swift reactions. As Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton pointed out, O’Connell getting No. 4 really is the talk of the town right now. Many fans feel as though Carr did enough to warrant that number receiving special treatment, perhaps even getting it retired. First off, unless you’re not too familiar with the Raiders, the team doesn’t retire numbers. In fact, several “legendary” digits have been worn by players other than the ones who gave them prestige. A couple of examples are No. 24 (Charles Woodson) and No. 81 (Tim Brown), just to name a few.

You could certainly argue that maybe the Raiders could’ve held off on No. 4 being worn by anyone, or maybe it just wasn’t their call.

If nothing else, this proves a couple of things. One, we’re in peak offseason form right now, with offseason workouts almost here. Second, Carr’s tenure is going to be a divisive topic for the foreseeable future.

*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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