Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr Reveals Raiders Departure Decision, Franchise Struggles

When you serve as an organization’s starting quarterback for nine seasons, you’re bound to experience a variety of emotions. Some years will leave you believing there’s something special in the works, while others feel like a never-ending cycle of punches to the gut. In a recent interview with The Fresno Bee’s Anthony Galaviz, Derek Carr opened up about the emotions he went through during his nine-year tenure with the Las Vegas Raiders, and how his journey with the Silver and Black ended.

Carr touched on the moment he knew his time in Las Vegas was coming to an end, eventually leading to him signing a four-year contract worth $150 million with the New Orleans Saints this offseason.

Furthermore, the veteran signal-caller also noted why he believes the Raiders lacked success during his time under center as the team’s franchise quarterback.

The moment Derek Carr knew he wouldn’t be returning to Vegas…

Ahead of the 2023 NFL season, Carr opened up his old wounds with the Raiders. One topic the new Saints quarterback addressed was the exact point in time he knew his journey with Vegas was over, recalling the quarterback change Josh McDaniels made ahead of Week 17. As Carr explains it, McDaniels’ decision to roll with another quarterback left his wife in tears.

When Carr saw his wife cry, he knew that leaving was the only option; there would be no change of heart, either. Despite the love and respect he had for his Raiders teammates, the chances of salvaging a relationship with Vegas were gone once the situation hit Carr’s marriage.

“Once they made my wife cry, that was pretty much over,” Carr told the Fresno Bee. “Once they made her cry, that was out. But the love for my teammates is what probably would have made me do it. But the way it worked out and the timing of things, I was just… It was time for me to move on. But who knows? You never know what will happen.”

Multiple additional factors may have helped drive Carr’s departure from the Raiders as well, such as the lack of team success and coaching instability. His wife crying was the cherry on top, however.

Raiders’ coaching carousel hindered team success in the Derek Carr-era?

During Carr’s nine seasons with the Raiders, the 32-year-old experienced a constant turnover of coaching staff. The seemingly non-stop revolving door of play-callers undoubtedly impacted the team’s ability to establish consistency and build a winning culture.

Since Carr’s rookie season in 2014, the Silver and Black have had six different head coaches. Each incoming coach welcomed their new philosophies, systems, and coaching styles that differed from the previous staff, creating endless change for the squad.

“If you win more games and you keep being productive, you stay there forever,” the now-former Raiders quarterback continued. “But we didn’t win enough games and that’s the kind of stuff that happens with all the turnover of coaches; with all the different things.” “Eventually, the last guy in the room is usually going to be out at some point. And that’s really what happened. I’ve survived about 20 coaches and that’s how it goes and it is what it is.”

This lack of stability in the coaching department can create challenges for any quarterback. Carr had to constantly adapt to new playbooks, terminology, and offensive strategies.

While Carr has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career, he has struggled to lead the Raiders to the playoffs. When he got to the postseason, he failed to make it out of the wildcard round.

Consistency is vital in the NFL, and teams that undergo frequent coaching changes often find it challenging to develop a winning culture and establish a strong foundation.

*Top Photo: AP Photo/John Locher

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