Derek Carr is an American football quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders and has quickly become one of the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL. He was drafted in 2014 in the second round out of Fresno State and has since taken the league by storm. In his seven years in the NFL, Carr has made four Pro Bowl appearances, set numerous team records, and guided the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since 2016. In this blog post, we will take a look at how Carr rose to stardom and became an American football superstar.
His Early Life
Derek Carr was born in Bakersfield, California in 1991 to Rodney and Sheryl Carr. His father Rodney was a long-time collegiate football coach, so Derek was exposed to the game from a young age. As a child, Derek was an avid football fan and was particularly passionate about the Fresno State Bulldogs – his dad’s former team. From a young age, he showed a natural aptitude for the sport and he played his first game at the age of 5.
In high school, Derek attended Bakersfield Christian High School where he broke several records as a quarterback. He completed an astounding 70.3 percent of his passes, threw for 8,126 yards, and threw 117 touchdowns. He also scored 44 touchdowns on the ground, leading his team to an undefeated season in 2008. By the end of his high school career, he had been named a three-time All-American, the Central Section Player of the Year, and Gatorade’s California Player of the Year.
Derek’s accomplishments earned him many college offers and he eventually committed to Fresno State. During his time in college, he earned several accolades, including being selected for the All-Mountain West Conference First Team twice, becoming the only player in NCAA history to have over 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season, and being named the 2013 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. His performance at Fresno State made him a strong contender for the 2014 NFL Draft and he was eventually selected by the Oakland Raiders as their 36th overall pick.
His Time at Fresno State
Derek Carr’s college career began at Fresno State in 2009. After sitting out the 2009 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, he started his first game in 2010. In three seasons as the Bulldogs starting quarterback, Carr threw for over 12,000 yards and 113 touchdowns. He earned a host of accolades, including First Team All-WAC in 2011, First Team All-Mountain West in 2012 and 2013, and was the MVP of the 2013 Hawaii Bowl.
Carr’s success at Fresno State was highlighted by his senior season in 2013 when he led the Bulldogs to an 11–2 record and a No. 20 ranking in the final AP poll. He broke numerous records during the season, including most passing yards (5,082), most passing touchdowns (50), and highest passer rating (168.6). He also established a number of program records that still stand today, including career passing yards (12,843), single-season passing yards (5,082), and single-season touchdown passes (50).
Carr’s time at Fresno State cemented him as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play for the Bulldogs. His hard work and dedication to the program ultimately paid off, as he left Fresno State with his name firmly planted in the history books.
His Time in the NFL
After being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2014, Derek Carr quickly proved his worth and took the league by storm. During his time with the Raiders, Carr became known as a reliable leader, regularly putting up impressive stats and helping lead the team to multiple playoff appearances.
In his first season in the NFL, Carr made an immediate impact, setting a franchise rookie record with 3,270 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. He was also voted to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and was the runner-up for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
The following year, Carr continued to build on his impressive start by throwing for 3,987 yards and 32 touchdowns, which earned him his first Pro Bowl appearance. The Raiders also made their first playoff appearance since 2002 behind his leadership. In 2016, Carr set career highs with 3,937 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken fibula in Week 16, which caused him to miss the playoffs.
Carr was able to bounce back from the injury and have a great 2017 season, throwing for 3,496 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading the Raiders to another playoff appearance. He then signed a five-year $125 million extension in 2018, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time.
Despite all of his success on the field, his time in Oakland came to an end after the 2019 season when he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. However, there is no doubt that Derek Carr’s time in the NFL was incredibly successful.
His Record-Breaking Contract
In 2017, Derek Carr signed the most lucrative contract in NFL history. The 5-year, $125 million deal included $40 million guaranteed and was the first of its kind to have no offset language, meaning the Raiders would pay him regardless of what other teams may offer him. This record-breaking contract allowed Carr to solidify his position as one of the top quarterbacks in the league and rewarded him for his hard work and commitment to the Raiders organization.
The deal was met with much fanfare and gave a sense of security to the Oakland fanbase. Not only had they found their franchise quarterback but they also had given him an assurance of long-term commitment from the organization. It also gave Carr a platform to continue to build his reputation as one of the NFL’s best.
With this contract, Carr became the highest-paid player in NFL history at the time and was widely praised for his performance on the field. It was a significant milestone for the quarterback and the Raiders franchise and showed how much respect they had for each other. His record-breaking contract proved that hard work pays off and has become a symbol of success in the NFL.
Derek Carr has established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL and will be remembered for his career achievements. He has been a Pro Bowl selection in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, and was an All-Pro selection in 2016. He has also won several awards, including the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP Award in 2017, and was named the Pro Football Writers Association’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2016.
Carr has also become one of the most well-known players in the league and his brand has grown considerably throughout his career. He is seen as a leader both on and off the field and he has become a role model for young athletes across the country. His philanthropy efforts have inspired many to get involved in their communities and make a difference.
Carr’s legacy will continue to grow with time. His leadership qualities have been impressive and his performance on the field has been remarkable. He has been instrumental in the Raiders’ rise from mediocrity to playoff contention and his individual accolades prove that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He will remain an iconic figure for many years to come, and he will continue to inspire generations of athletes for years to come.
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