Chris Carr, who spent most of the 2013 season with the New Orleans Saints, announced his retirement from football on Wednesday. The 30 year old, who played nine seasons in the league for six different teams, was not expected to receive much interest on the free agent market and has come to the decision to call time on his career.
Originally undrafted in 2005 out of Boise State, Carr made the Oakland Raiders' roster after impressing coaches with his straight-line speed. He went on to appear in all sixteen games as a rookie, making most of his impact on kick returns and serving as depth in the secondary. He spent the next two seasons in Oakland before becoming a restricted free agent in 2008.
Carr signed an offer sheet with the Tennessee Titans that spring, which the Raiders declined to match. Following one year in Nashville, he was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. His best seasons came during 2009 and 2010 with the Ravens, where he set career highs in tackles, passes defensed, interceptions and forced fumbles. Carr was rewarded with a new four-year contract ahead of the 2011 season, but following an injury-riddled season where younger players such as Jimmy Smith emerged, he was released in order to save nearly $3.5 million against the cap. Chris Carr in action with the Raiders.
Carr signed with the Minnesota Vikings the following season, but did not make the team's roster. He was brought in by the San Diego Chargers to help a depleted secondary early in 2012, and went on to make nine appearances. After initially contemplating retirement last summer, he was signed by the Saints to add depth in the secondary. He had a history with new Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan from their days together in Oakland.
Carr wound up being released at final cuts in August. However, just two weeks later, he was brought back to New Orleans after Patrick Robinson had been ruled out for the rest of the season. This would turn out to be just the first of 3 roster dances with the Saints, as he was released and re-signed twice more before the end of the season. He was waived for good in mid-December and was not a part of the team's postseason venture. Carr ended his tenure as a Saint with 16 tackles and an interception in 11 appearances.
One of Carr's reasons for considering retirement last year was his intent to enter law school. That will likely be an option this time around once again for Carr, who will turn 31 next month. Following his back and forth season with New Orleans in 2013, Carr feels the time is right to bring his playing career to an end, with a solid career and good health on his side.
Chris Carr was not a household name or a shutdown corner by any means, making most of his impact as a sub-package slot corner and kick returner. But he was an easy player to root for, from earning a roster spot in Oakland to appearing in an AFC title game as a Raven. Finding a way to spend nine years in the NFL after going undrafted helps paint the portrait of the determination and effort that Carr dedicated to his craft. If law school is indeed his next challenge, Chris Carr will be more than up to the task.