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Derek Carr finds new home

Updated March 6, 2023 - 7:13 pm

Derek Carr has found a new home.

The former Raiders quarterback agreed to terms with the Saints on a four-year contract Monday, a courtship that began last month when New Orleans tried to trade for Carr when he was with the Raiders.

Carr is fully guaranteed $60 million at the time of signing and an additional $10 million that will vest in 2024 and be paid as a bonus in 2025, according to a person familiar with the agreement.

Should Carr, who will turn 32 on March 28, play the length of the contract, he will make $150 million.

Carr’s move to New Orleans reunites him with Saints coach Dennis Allen, who was the Oakland Raiders’ coach when the team drafted him in 2014.

Carr noted the development in a Monday morning post on social media.

Thus ends Carr’s long relationship with the Raiders, which produced multiple franchise passing records but just two playoff appearances in nine years. He lost his only playoff start with the club.

While the former Fresno State standout continually expressed his devotion to the Raiders and said he would retire rather than play for another organization, that position began to change after coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were hired by owner Mark Davis 13 months ago.

At the time, Carr was entering the final year of a five-year contract he signed in 2017. The $20 million in salary was below market and nonguaranteed, and as is customary in those situations, Carr wanted more security. Ziegler and McDaniels agreed, but were not ready to fully commit to Carr long term.

Thus, the three-year extension they offered Carr came with an out-clause after the 2022 season and before the extension technically went into effect.

It essentially provided Carr, McDaniels and Ziegler a one-year window from which the Raiders would decide whether to move forward with the relationship.

While there was hope that Carr would be the long-term answer — the Raiders traded for his best friend, wide receiver Davante Adams — things took a turn for the worse about a month into the season when Carr’s and the Raiders’ performance waned.

That led to McDaniels and Ziegler losing faith in Carr, especially with the teeth of the new extension, including a $40.5 million roster guarantee due three days after the Super Bowl, looming.

The Raiders then decided to move on from Carr for the final two games of the season when they benched him to protect their interests on the $40.5 million, which was guaranteed for injury.

The Raiders’ hope was to trade Carr, but he had protection with a no-trade clause and utilized it when the Raiders and Saints agreed to terms on a trade before the deadline for the roster guarantee. He was released a few days later.

The Saints remained in the picture, though Carr met with other teams, including the Jets.

Carr goes to a Saints team brimming with talent on both sides of the ball and becomes the best quarterback in an NFC South division filled with QB uncertainty. The Buccaneers’ Tom Brady retired after the season, and there are no established quarterbacks in Carolina and Atlanta.

But Carr won’t get a chance to exact revenge on the Raiders. The teams don’t play next season.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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