25 most important Saints of 2023: No. 7, Derek Carr

The 2023 NFL offseason is in full swing, and with that, training camps edge ever closer to starting. We have seen a new wave of players enter the team both via the draft and free agency, but there is also a large group of returning players from last season as well. This has led to some debates to be had regarding which players will have the largest impact on the roster for the 2023 season.

Each day we will be counting down the 25 most important Saints for the 2023 season. This will be split up into the following categories:

  • Recap of their 2022 season

  • Projecting their 2023 success

  • What is the biggest question mark for them in 2023?

The seventh-ranked player by the Saints Wire staff is quarterback Derek Carr:


Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Carr, who split time between California and Texas while growing up, played his college football at Fresno State. He had a legendary college career, dominating the school record books before his new teammate Jake Haener came in and topped most of his numbers.

He had 12,842 passing yards, 113 touchdowns and just 24 interceptions during his time. This helped him get drafted by the then Oakland Raiders in the second round of he 2014 NFL draft. He’s been with the Raiders since this past offseason when the Saints signed him.

Carr currently stands at No. 32 on the NFL’s all-time passing leaders list with 35,222 yards. He’ll likely be somewhere in the mid-20s after this season.

2022 Recap

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Carr is coming off of a career low-point in 2022, which is a big reason why he wanted a change of scenery from Las Vegas this offseason. It felt like his time there had peaked and everyone needed something new.

It was a career high in interception percentage, with a 24 to 14 touchdown to interception ratio. Carr didn’t have much to work with but it seemed like he was checked out a bit for stretches in 2022 more than it was than his ability was much lower than the rest of his career. It was clear something needed to happen.

2023 Outlook

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints brought in what they felt like was their best option in the offseason, at that happened to be Carr. He’s coming in with some expectations of winning the division in his first season, being the most veteran and proven quarterback in the NFC South.

He doesn’t have to do much to do to be better than the performances the Saints got out of Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston last season, but he does have to be better than his own perforamnce last season in Las Vegas.

Biggest question: Can the Saints win playoff games with Carr?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints haven’t won a playoff game since the 2020 Wild Card round and Derek Carr has never won a playoff game, only ever making it to one during his time with the Raiders.

It’s not all his fault, as the Raiders have clearly not been the most well run organization with elite coaching. However, playing in just one playoff game in nine seasons does raise some questions about the guy in the most important position on the field.

Derek Carr has the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong in New Orleans, a team that looks more prepared to win their division than he ever has with the competition in the AFC West.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire