Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints Closing In On Contract As First Major NFL Quarterback Domino Falls

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The NFC South has its first team with a solid quarterback as the New Orleans Saints and free agent Derek Carr are closing in on a contract, a source confirmed to OutKick on Monday morning.

NFL Network was the first to report the news.

Carr later confirmed his choice of new team.

Derek Carr headed to the Saints.

Carr, who visited New Orleans first in his free agency tour of sorts, decided on the Saints after meeting with multiple teams in Indianapolis last week including Carolina, the Jets and New Orleans.

The Saints and the player talked again over the weekend and that helped Carr confirm his feelings about heading to the Big Easy.

Carr is expected to sign a contract that will pay him an estimated $35-$40 million annually, a source said.

Derek Carr is headed to the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

How the Saints get that contract under the salary cap will be interesting because they are slated to be nearly $21 million over the cap before they make some significant cap adjustments.

Carr Makes Saints Instant Favorites In NFC South

So color the New Orleans Saints the instant favorites to win the NFC South next year because, well, they’re the only team in the division with a proven quarterback.

The Panthers, who flirted with the idea of signing Carr, have only second-year player Matt Corral, who missed most of his rookie season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who lost Tom Brady to retirement, have been making noise about Kyle Trask initially. Trask will not be the only quarterback they have competing for the job.

And the Atlanta Falcons have second-year player Desmond Ridder and are looking for an upgrade.

Derek Carr will be replacing Andy Dalton, among others, as Saints quarterback. (Getty Images)

Carr obviously gives a New Orleans team with a solid defense the potential to get in the playoffs.

He joins former coach Dennis Allen, who coached Carr early in his career with the Raiders. And Carr will play his home games inside a dome, which was attractive to the quarterback.

The Saints must now make a decision on former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston. Winston obviously was not in the team’s plans as the starter last year or in 2023. But now he might not be in the team’s plans at all.

The Saints can cut Winston before June 1 and save $4.4 million in cap space. The team can also designate Winston a post-June 1 cut and save upwards of $12.8 million in cap space starting on June 1.

Either way, Winston is not going to be the team’s starter any longer.

This news deals the biggest blow to the New York Jets.

They hoped to have Carr as a fallback in case they could not land Aaron Rodgers, their first choice in quarterback they wish to add.

That was always a gamble because Carr, who was released by the Raiders three weeks ago, could make his decision at any point. Rodgers, meanwhile, has not even decided whether he wishes to play or not in 2023 and the idea of trading him is still up in the air.

The Jets, nonethelesss, remain hopeful on Rodgers. But there’s a scenario where the Jets get neither Carr nor Rodgers.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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