Various news sources are reporting that the Vikings are considering swinging a trade with Houston for David Carr, an idea that I did not initially endorse. But, like a smart fan, I didn’t let my emotions about the Tarvaris Revolution cloud my judgment, instead choosing to base my opinion on the stats. After doing so, I’ve come to the conclusion that Carr would be a great fit for the Vikings over the next two years, allowing Tarvaris to spend another year or two developing prior to taking over.
First off, Carr’s contract should fit perfectly into the Vikings’ plans. He has only two years remaining, both of which are pretty cheap--he’s only owed $5.25 million next season and $6 million in 2008. While 2008 might feature a quarterback controversy, having Carr there would be extremely useful if the Revolution has problems as the starter.
Secondly, Carr is a decent young quarterback with room for improvement. He finished 15th overall, with an 82.1 QB rating, despite having a line that allowed him to be sacked 41 times. Even though he faced constant pressure, he still demonstrated the accuracy needed for the Vikings’ offense, completing over 60% of his passes the last three seasons, including 68.3% of them last year. He has had problems with turnovers, though, averaging 13 interceptions and 13.6 fumbles a season, including 11 picks and 16 fumbles last season. A lot of that, however, can likely be attributed to the beating he took behind the Texans’ porous offensive line.
Of course, that’s nothing new for him, as he’s been sacked 249 times in his five year career, or seven more times than Brad Johnson has been in his 15 year career. Read that sentence again—Carr has been sacked more than Brad Johnson has, despite having played for a third as many seasons. Despite the punishment, he’s held up well, having only missed three games in his career due to injury.
If the Vikings’ were to acquire him, conventional wisdom holds that his stats would improve due to his having more time to work with in the pocket. While he would likely face less pressure than he did in his first four seasons, last year, the Vikings’ line was not effective in avoiding negative pass plays, which a stat Cold Hard Football Facts keeps, which measures “how often pass plays end in either a sack or interception”. The Texans had 10.69% of their pass plays end negatively, which was the 22nd best total in the league. This was a vast improvement over the 15.7% from the year before, but still pretty bad. The Vikings were actually worse, however, as 10.81% of their pass plays ended negatively. The difference, however, was due to interceptions as the Vikings had a 19 picks and 43 sacks, while the Texans had 13 picks and 42 sacks. It’s also likely that some of the Vikings’ sacks were due to Johnson’s immobility. Carr, having slightly more mobility than Johnson (as does my desk), should be able to avoid some of the sacks that Johnson could not.
I believe that Tarvaris Jackson has the potential to be a star quarterback in the NFL, and would play well next season if he is the starter. If Brad Childress and the Vikings’ don’t think so, however, I hope that they go after David Carr, because Carr would provide durability, accuracy and potential, which Garcia would not.