The first QB domino of the 2023 offseason is about to fall.
The New Orleans Saints and Derek Carr have agreed to a four-year, $150 million contract that includes $100 million in total guarantees, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported on Monday morning, per sources informed of the situation.
The team has since announced the news.
Carr will get $70 million effectively fully guaranteed with $60 million due at signing and another $10 million in Year 3 vesting after Year 1, per Rapoport and Garafolo. Carr's new contract also will include a no-trade clause, Garafolo reported, just as his most recent deal with the Raiders had.
"We are excited to welcome Derek Carr to the New Orleans Saints," said Saints general manager Mickey Loomis in a statement. "Derek's experience, leadership and skillset will be an asset to our offense."
Carr visited with the Saints before eventually being released by the Las Vegas Raiders on Feb. 14. The veteran QB had another meeting with the New Orleans brass in Indianapolis last week and also met with the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers during the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine.
Signs pointed to the Saints trading for Carr early in the process. Ultimately, New Orleans snagged the four-time Pro Bowler without surrendering additional assets.
The signing reunites the 31-year-old Carr with head coach Dennis Allen, who started the second-round quarterback as a rookie in 2014. The Raiders fired Allen just four games into that season. The two will attempt to finish the job in New Orleans.
"I had the opportunity to work with Derek at the start of his professional football career," said Allen in a statement. "In addition to his talent, I admired his approach to the game, work ethic and commitment to get better every day in what were the formative stages of his career. From afar and when we played him as an opponent, I saw Derek's development into one of the most productive quarterbacks in the National Football League. Derek is an outstanding addition to the New Orleans Saints and I can't wait to get working with him and the rest of our team this offseason."
The Saints always seemed like a logical landing spot for Carr. With Andy Dalton a free agent and Jameis Winston a cut candidate, Carr represented the best veteran option available. Carr might not offer young upside, but he has proven he can move the offense in the right setting. Whether that setting is in New Orleans remains to be seen, but there weren't many routes for the veteran Saints to take in hopes of remaining relevant.
In nine seasons with the Raiders, Carr generated 35,222 passing yards, 217 touchdowns and 99 interceptions. The Raiders went 63-79 in 142 starts by the QB.
The NFC South division was rife with quarterback questions heading into the offseason. The Saints are the first to make a big move.
Carr joining New Orleans wipes out one potential veteran option for QB-needy clubs. The Jets viewed Carr as a possible fallback option if four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers didn't become available. Now that safety net is gone for Gang Green.