CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers will meet with free-agent quarterback Derek Carr this week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team doesn’t announce its meetings with free agents. The NFL Network was first to report the planned meeting.
The Raiders released Carr on Feb. 14 rather than pay him $40.4 million in guaranteed money.
Carr, 31, already has met with the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints. Jets general manager Joe Douglas said while speaking at the combine that the team will meet again with Carr sometime this week in Indianapolis.
“I can say he left a strong impression with everybody,” Douglas said of Carr’s first meeting with the Jets. “Obviously, we’re going to be exploring the veteran quarterback market this offseason and we’ll look at every available option.”
The nine-year NFL veteran is the Raiders’ career leader in yards passing (35,222) and touchdown passes (217) but is 63-79 as an NFL starter and never has won a playoff game (0-1 for the franchise).
The Panthers have been searching for a quarterback for the better part of the last five years, and owner David Tepper is desperate to fix the issue.
Over the past three years, the Panthers signed free agent Teddy Bridgewater, traded for Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield and even brought back Cam Newton. Bridgewater was traded after one season and Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, didn’t even make it through an entire season before being released because of his struggles on the field in 2022. Newton never panned out in his return, going 0-5 as a starter.
Darnold has spent the last two seasons with Carolina and finished 2022 as the team’s starter, but he is an unrestricted free agent and re-signing him is not considered a priority.
General manager Scott Fitterer recently indicated the Panthers ideally would like to build around a young quarterback.
Carolina has the ninth overall pick in the draft this year and there’s a good possibility it will take a quarterback at that spot or even try to move up to acquire one. The team drafted Matt Corral in the third round last year, but he missed the entire season with a foot injury and has not played in a regular-season game.
Carr’s older brother, David, spent one season with the Panthers in 2007, going 1-3 as a starter.