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Saints QB Derek Carr on ending Raiders career on bench: 'I was very upset; I was mad'

New Saints and ex-Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has expressed his regret for failing to deliver his best last season.

Nonetheless, Carr is still left with a bitter taste in terms of how things ended with the Silver and Black after nine seasons with the franchise.

"I was, for lack of a better term, I was very upset; I was mad," Carr told the Fresno Bee’s Anthony Galaviz on Saturday. "You spend nine years in a place, you have all the records and you can play at a high level and for something to get in the way, whether it was whatever reason, money related or whatever, injury related, I would have said I don't even want the money, just to play two more times in front of our fans. I didn't get that opportunity. So, it definitely lit a fire inside me to keep going."

On Feb. 14, Carr was officially released by the Raiders and he signed with the Saints less than a month later.

However, his career with the club that drafted him 36th overall in 2014 effectively ended after Week 16 this past season. Carr was benched and inactive for the final two weeks of the Raiders' 2022 season -- quietly concluding his tenure with the franchise in which his name sits atop the record books for completions (3,201), attempts (4,958), touchdown passes (217) and passing yards (35,222).

His demotion from QB1 to inactivity was hardly any kind of ending foreseen by the four-time Pro Bowler who once proclaimed he'd rather retire than play for a team other than the Raiders.

Despite any antipathy, Carr realizes the wins and losses didn't come to fruition during a 6-11 campaign rife with blown leads, bewildering droughts on offense and continued struggles on defense. It was also symbolic of a chaotic run with the Raiders.

"If you win more games and you keep being productive, you stay there forever," Carr said. "But we didn't win enough games and that's the kind of stuff that happens with all the turnover of coaches; with all the different things. Eventually, the last guy in the room is usually going to be out at some point. And that's really what happened.

"I've survived about 20 coaches and that's how it goes, and it is what it is."

It was six head coaches who Carr played for during his time with the Raiders. Two were interim, the last was Josh McDaniels and the first was Dennis Allen, who's his head coach once again in New Orleans.

As it all played out, Carr was benched and eventually released. Jarrett Stidham started in place of Carr, but he too moved on in the offseason, signing a deal with the Raiders' AFC West rivals, the Broncos. Now, former Patriots and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to take the Raiders' reins (provided he's healthy).

Had Las Vegas decided it wanted to repair its relationship and retain Carr following his benching, the veteran QB said his exit was already set.

Why? Well, as you famously never put Baby in a corner, you don't make Heather Carr cry, either.

"Once they made my wife cry, that was pretty much over," Carr said. "Once they made her cry, that was out. But the love for my teammates is what probably would have made me do it. But the way it worked out and the timing of things, I was just ... it was time for me to move on. But who knows? You never know what will happen."

Hopeful of what lies ahead, it's clear Carr still has some ill will with how things were left with his former franchise. He's not rooting against the Raiders, though. Former teammates who remain friends are abundant on the Las Vegas roster and Carr can't help but pull for them.

"I have so many friends over there," he said. "I want them to succeed. I want Jimmy to be healthy. I want him to play great, because that helps Davante (Adams). It helps Maxx (Crosby), Josh Jacobs. It helps all my friends, Kolton (Miller), Andre (James). I'm going to stop naming names because someone will get upset, but all my friends over there, I just want them to have success. That's all I was ever trying to do is give my best so they could win.

"The thing that matters to me the most is the Saints win. I want my friends to have success and I don't want them to have hard times, but I still want the Saints to win a little more."

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