How big of a threat is Spencer Rattler to Derek Carr as Saints starting QB?

Just how much noise is the rookie making?
New Orleans Saints, Spencer Rattler
New Orleans Saints, Spencer Rattler / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Last offseason, the New Orleans Saints figured they had solved their quarterback situation for the next few years to come by inking veteran Derek Carr to a 4-year, $150 million contract.

But, the backup plan has been in question since Jameis Winston left via free agency. The jury is still out on last year's fourth-round pick, Jake Haener. But, the Saints went out and spent a fifth rounder on Spencer Rattler this year -- a kid who was once looked at as a first-round talent.

Rattler's first NFL offseason has featured both ups and downs, but some of the latest intel says he is climbing the Saints' depth chart. Bleacher Report's Alex Kay ran with the Rattler praise in a recent column.

Wrote Kay:

"By selecting Spencer Rattler—the South Carolina product who was once projected as a potential early first-round pick following his breakout 2020 campaign for Oklahoma—the Saints brought in one of the more polarizing signal-callers in the class."

"Rattler is already making headway in this quest early in the offseason. He was spotted at minicamp working as New Orleans' QB2 with only entrenched veteran Derek Carr ahead of him on the depth chart."

There is absolutely no chance Spencer Rattler takes Derek Carr's job anytime soon

Although it's a positive to hear praise coming out about the Saints' rookie quarterback, we are also talking about a first-year quarterback, a fifth-round pick, potentially overtaking a veteran that's thrown for over 3,500 yards and 21 or more touchdowns in nine of 10 pro seasons.

That's an unfamiliar task for most NFL quarterbacks; a level of achievement that the majority of college quarterbacks could only dream of. Not only has Carr's career spanned over a decade, but he's been a dependable, capable starter for the majority of his time in the league.

Say what you will about his inconsistencies at times, but Carr is that steady veteran starter that many teams would love to have. So, for Rattler to take his job, it would come by way of extreme circumstances.

The Saints are paying Carr a pretty penny to start in New Orleans, and even if he were to get benched in 2025, his cap hit for next season is $51 million ($50 million dead cap if, for some reason, Carr were to be cut). That is a heck of a lot of money to mortgage on a fifth-round pick like Rattler.

Now, could Rattler end up taking over in a couple of years? Absolutely. But, anytime in the near future? It ain't happening. Rattler not only has to prove consistency when it comes to his on-field production, but that his attitude and character questions are firmly in the rear view.

The bottom line is this: Carr would have to completely fall flat on his face in 2024 for Rattler to have a shot at the starting gig. Barring injury, the job belongs to the veteran, period.