Derek Dallas Carr (born March 28, 1991) is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Fresno State, where he twice received first-team All-MWC honors, and was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
On November 20, Carr won his first NFL game by leading the previously winless Raiders to a 24–20 upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. The Raiders trailed the Chiefs, 20–17, early in the fourth quarter, but Carr led them on an 80-yard drive that lasted just over 7 minutes. The fourth-quarter comeback ended with Carr throwing a game-winning touchdown pass that put them up, 24–20, with just under 1:40 to play. The Raiders would go on to get their first victory of the season. On December 7, Carr led the Raiders to a 24–13 victory over the visiting San Francisco 49ers. Carr posted a 140.2 rating, the highest for a Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon in 2001.
Carr finished his rookie season with 3,270 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He became the first Raiders quarterback to start all 16 games since Rich Gannon in 2002.
Carr was born in Bakersfield, California, the youngest of three children to Rodger and Sheryl Carr. He and his family lived in Bakersfield before relocating to Sugar Land, Texas, in 2002 when his oldest brother, David Carr, became the first overall draft pick of the then-expansion Houston Texans. Carr and his family moved back to Bakersfield for his senior year, and he attended Bakersfield Christian High School.
On January 20, it was announced that he would be replacing Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers for the 2016 Pro Bowl. He became the first Raiders quarterback to be named to the Pro Bowl since Rich Gannon in 2002. After two seasons, Carr had 53 career touchdown passes, the second most by a quarterback in his first two seasons, behind Dan Marino's 68. Carr was ranked 100th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
In 2008, Bakersfield Christian High School athletic director and former NFL player Doug Barnett confirmed that Carr would transfer to BCHS, amid rumors that he would have gone to nearby Stockdale High School or Bakersfield High School, two schools with historically good football programs.
Carr made gradual progress as a starter for the Clements High School Rangers. He passed for 1,246 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore, and 1,622 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior. While a junior, Carr led his team to an undefeated 13–0 season (playoffs included) before losing in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Class 5A Division 2 State playoffs in Region 3 to the (also undefeated) Katy High School Tigers, the eventual champions. Also during his junior year, Carr was heavily recruited. His college choices included Fresno State, SMU, Boise State, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and Utah. Of these schools, only Fresno State, SMU, and Utah made a scholarship offer to Carr. Ultimately, he verbally committed to Fresno State on May 25, 2008, at the end of his junior year. Carr was the program's first recruit of the 2009 class.
As a senior, Carr led the Eagles football team to a 12–1 record and the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Division V championship; the only blemish came at home against Oaks Christian High School, a national football powerhouse, during the team's season opener. On October 29, 2008, Carr was selected by ESPN RISE as the National Football Player of the Week after passing for 441 yards and three touchdowns in a game against Tehachapi High School five days earlier. Carr would eventually set a Central Section record by throwing 544 yards in a win against Arvin High School on November 7, 2008. Carr was also selected by The Bakersfield Californian as the 2008 All-Area Football Player of the Year. Carr also set a new school record when he passed for six touchdowns and ran for two in a blowout win against small school Fowler High at home. After his high school football career finished, Carr was named the National Player of the Year by the National Private Schools Athletic Association in 2009.
Carr enrolled as an early-entry freshman for the spring semester at Fresno State, where his brother David also played quarterback, in 2009 so he could participate in spring football with the Bulldogs. Then–Fresno State head coach Pat Hill stated that Carr, a true freshman, was "in the mix" for the starting quarterback position as late as mid-July. However, days before the 2009 season began in September, Hill announced junior Ryan Colburn would start over Carr. Carr appeared in five games as a freshman in limited action.
Carr earned his opportunity to start for the Bulldogs in their 4–9 season in 2011. He made his first appearance as starter in the Bulldogs' season-opening loss to California. Three weeks later, Carr had a breakout game in a victory over Idaho with 371 passing yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Six games later, on November 12 in a loss to New Mexico State, he had a season-high 391 passing yards and three touchdowns. In the 2011 season, Carr passed for 3,544 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He was among the passing leaders of the Western Athletic Conference in numerous categories.
Going into the season, Carr had a new head coach in Tim DeRuyter, who replaced the fired Pat Hill. Carr helped lead the Bulldogs to a significant improvement, going 9–4 in 2012. Going into the season, Davante Adams was coming off a redshirt and he instantly became a reliable target for Carr.
Carr married his wife on June 29, 2012. The couple have three sons and a daughter. His oldest son was born with a medical condition that tied up his intestines and required three surgeries to fix.
On October 12, in the fifth start of his career versus the division-rival San Diego Chargers, Carr made history by setting a new Raiders franchise record for the most passing touchdowns in a single regular-season game by a rookie with four. This surpassed the previous record of three passing touchdowns, which was set by McGloin during his rookie season in 2013 versus the Houston Texans. Additionally, Carr set single-game personal records for passing yards by throwing for 282 yards, and for total passer rating which amounted to 107.7. Although Carr had a career day, the Raiders ultimately were defeated by the San Diego Chargers by the final score of 31–28.
Carr started the 2016 season off strong with 319 passing yards, a touchdown, and a late go-ahead two-point conversion in a 35–34 victory over the New Orleans Saints. During Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carr finished with 513 passing yards, a franchise record, and four touchdowns as the Raiders won 30–24 in overtime. He earned his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor for his performance against the Buccaneers. In a Week 9 game against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, Carr led the Raiders to a 30–20 victory on Sunday Night Football to take sole possession of first place in the AFC West. During Week 11 against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca, Carr completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 295 yards and three touchdowns as the Raiders won 27–20. He surpassed 10,000 career passing yards and helped the Raiders take back sole possession of the division lead from the Kansas City Chiefs. The following week versus the Carolina Panthers, Carr dislocated his pinkie on his throwing hand and had to miss a series. He returned the next drive with a glove on his hand and finished the game, which resulted in a 35–32 victory. The win brought the Raiders to a 9–2 record and clinched their first winning season since 2002. On December 18, with a 19–16 win over the San Diego Chargers, Carr led the Raiders to clinch their first playoff berth since 2002. Carr was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl on December 20, 2016, but an injury sustained in Week 16 prevented him from participating.
While at Fresno State, he wore number 4 as a homage to his favorite NFL player, Brett Favre. Carr's number was retired by Fresno State during halftime of a game against Incarnate Word in 2017. On July 14, 2019, Carr received a mural at his former college, Fresno State University.
On June 22, 2017, Carr signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with $40 million fully guaranteed, $70 million in total guarantees and a $12.5 million signing bonus. This deal surpassed Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's contract as the league's highest paid player in terms of average money per year. Carr himself was surpassed that August by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's $27 million annual contract.
Against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, Carr finished with a season-high 417 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders won 31–30 on a game-winning two-yard pass from Carr to wide receiver Michael Crabtree on an untimed down that resulted from a defensive holding penalty on the previous play as time expired. During Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys, in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, Carr fumbled close to the endzone, resulting in a touchback, and the Raiders lost 20–17. On New Year's Eve, in the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, he threw a career-long 87-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper in the 30–10 loss. Overall, in the 2017 season, the Raiders finished with a 6–10 record and missed the playoffs. Carr finished with 3,496 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. On January 22, 2018, he was named to his third straight Pro Bowl as a replacement for the Super Bowl-bound Tom Brady. Carr was ranked 60th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Carr helped the Raiders reach the playoffs during the 2016 season, the franchise's first appearance since 2002, as well as another postseason berth in 2021. Following a 2022 season that missed expectations, Carr lost his starting job and agreed with Raiders leadership to be released following the conclusion of the season. He left the Raiders as the franchise leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and pass completions.
On April 12, 2022, Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million contract extension with the Las Vegas Raiders, including a no-trade clause. Carr became the fifth-ranked NFL quarterback in 2022 season for average annual salary ($40.5 milion) and the eighth-ranked for overall contract value. In Week 1, Carr threw for 295 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in a 19–24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Carr's first win of the season came in Week 4 in a 32–23 win against the Denver Broncos where he threw for 188 yards and completed 21 of his 34 passes. Following the Denver game, the Raiders lost four of their next five games before rattling off a three-game winning streak.
The Raiders released Carr on February 14, 2023, following his decision to decline waiving a no-trade clause in his contract.
On March 6, 2023, Carr signed with the New Orleans Saints on a four-year contract, reuniting with former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.