Entering his second season with Saints, how does Derek Carr compare to other NFL QBs?

Derek Carr is gearing up for year two with the New Orleans Saints, and his standing as an NFL quarterback is slowly declining going into the 2024 season.
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Derek Carr is preparing for year two with the New Orleans Saints, and he’s hoping it’s better than year one. In his first season with the Saints, Carr started all 17 games, but he battled injuries all throughout the year. Still, he completed 68.4% of his passes for 3,878 yards, 25 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions. However, New Orleans finished the season 9-8 and missed the playoffs.

Now, there’s a sense that Carr is entering a make-or-break season in year two with the Saints. He has become a polarizing quarterback in the league, and there’s doubt about his ability to lead New Orleans to the kind of success the team is striving towards. This is evident in a recent ranking of the top 32 quarterbacks in the NFL.

Trevor Sikkema, in a piece for PFF, ranked all 32 projected starting quarterbacks for the 2024 season. Carr found himself in the bottom half at No. 21.

PFF has Derek Carr as the 21st-ranked quarterback in the NFL

Sikkema detailed the frustrating experience of watching Carr play quarterback, saying, “I want to be clear, he is more good than bad…But it has long felt like Carr leaves too many plays out on the field.” Using different grades and stats, Sikkema made it clear that Carr hasn’t really been bad, but he hasn’t been special either.

"In 2023, Carr passed for 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions, but he recorded 17 big-time throws to 14 turnover-worthy plays, a much closer ratio. He remains a frustrating player to watch due to the dichotomy of what he’s capable of versus what he puts on tape."

Trevor Sikkema (PFF)

While this could seem like an unfair standard, it’s a reality the Saints will have to face if they have another mediocre season. If Derek Carr, and the rest of the team, can’t put together the kind of season that will propel New Orleans to the postseason, the franchise may be forced to enter a rebuild. That would start with moving on from Derek Carr.