Derek Carr’s brother David says Michael Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu helped Saints recruit him

It turns out that getting Derek Carr to the New Orleans Saints was a team effort. His older brother and former NFL quarterback David spoke about the process that led to Carr’s four-year contract with the Saints as a free agent, and why he picked the Saints over the New York Jets among other contenders during a guest appearance on his son Austin’s Harvester Sports Podcast.

One factor that stood out in the process: New Orleans’ veteran experience in the locker room, on the coaching staff, and within the front office. While the Jets talk a big game and have some young, hungry standouts in cornerback Sauce Gardner and head coach Robert Saleh, Carr believed they lacked the nucleus of pros who have seen it all and can roll with the punches in the NFL.

“When you look at it from the Saints’ standpoint, they’re some young guys but there’s also a lot of veterans guys on the defensive side. There’s a lot of veteran coaches there. A lot of guys that are grizzled veterans that understand how to make it work,” David Carr said, pointing to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. as one of the most-experienced play callers around the NFL, and how his work with Drew Brees became a selling-point for his brother.

Carr continued: “Derek has relationships with a lot of those guys too, that go far beyond just this offseason. With Tyrann Mathieu he’s known him forever, you know a lot of these guys. Michael Thomas, they go way back, and they have history. So when Derek became available, they were like ‘No, you’re coming here.'”

Mathieu played against Carr’s Raiders for years with the Kansas City Chiefs, going 3-1 and intercepting him once. But it’s clear those matchups built a level of respect for the quarterback. Thomas and Carr were standout high school recruits from similar stomping-grounds in Southern California (Thomas attended William Howard Taft Charter High School in Los Angeles while Carr was two hours away at Bakersfield Christian High School in Fresno). Though Thomas is expected to be released at the start of the new league year on March 15, it’s interesting that he was helping to recruit Carr and celebrated the quarterback’s decision to sign with New Orleans.

Does this mean Thomas could return to the Saints in 2023? Maybe, but that’s going to be tough to figure out. He’ll need a new contract altogether, likely including an agreeable salary and heavy incentives for performance should he return to his 2019 Offensive Player of the Year form. But that’s a version of Thomas we haven’t seen in three years because of unfortunate injuries. A deal needs to make sense for both sides. But if the Saints have already gotten on the same page with him in getting the quarterback he and other leaders on the team wanted, you have to think the hurdles ahead can’t be much more difficult.


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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire