As it stands heading into the 2020 NFL season, Derek Carr is the Las Vegas Raiders starting quarterback, just as he's been QB1 for the Silver and Black for the previous six seasons.
However, there will be a bit more fire in his belly and a heavier chip on his shoulder this time around it would seem.
Asked Tuesday if he had contemplated opting out of the upcoming season, Carr was emphatic that there was too much for him to prove for that thought to have been entertained.
"I did not. I have a lot to prove to myself. I have a lot to prove to my organization. I'm going to be completely honest with you: I'm tired of being disrespected," Carr told reporters on Tuesday. "There was no question I was going to play this year."
Carr is coming off an overlooked and quietly impressive 2019 season. He's been a starter for six seasons with just two starts missed, throwing for better than 4,000 yards in each of the last two seasons -- something no other Raiders QB had previously done. However, he's led the Raiders to just one winning season during his time with the franchise and has often been chastised for staying safe with his throws rather than looking for the home run.
In Carr's eyes, how he's judged has a lot to do with "hype" and whether his team wins or loses rather than the true talent that he and his teammates possess. Going forward, the quarterback's professed to concentrate on what lies within the locker room rather than any chatter beyond it.
"It's not about proving anybody wrong. It's about just going to getting that Super Bowl trophy with my teammates," Carr said. "It has nothing to do with anybody outside, but on the inside, we just want to hold that trophy. Because, what I'm tired of, the hype machine that sometimes the NFL can be. I played way better last year, than I did in 2016, yet all we do is talk about that. Well, we won 12 games, so oh yeah, everyone's excited. I'm done with all that stuff. So, you can say good stuff, you can say bad stuff. I think you can sense it in the last probably year or so, I just don't care anymore, you can say whatever you want. I'm trying to go win that Super Bowl, so we can go hang one of these banners in this beautiful indoor that we've got. And then I want to try and go do it again and then I want to try to go do it again until I'm too old or they kick me out of this place.
"As soon as we go and win 12 games, Darren Waller's gonna be top 10 on the NFL list, as he should've been this year; you can't tell me there's 95 better players than Darren Waller, as he walks by right here. I just won't believe it. How's Rodney Hudson not on there? How's Trent Brown, the best right tackle in all of football not on that list? It's this hype machine, as soon as we start winning everyone's Madden ratings go up. Shocker. I'm tired of all that kind of stuff and I'm not playing those games anymore. Honestly, I'm happy that we're doing it that way. If we win, awesome, we're gonna keep grinding. I'm just going to stay true to what I do."
What Carr has done every season has produced solid, if not spectacular, individual statistics. When those match up with team success, as Carr mentioned, it's likely the respect and accolades will follow.