‘I’m going to get back to my roots’: Former NFL quarterback Derek Carr to tackle drug use, abuse
By Michael A. GoodmanAssociated PressIn his first post-NFL career interview since being cut by the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, Derek Carr, the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, is taking a look at the dangers of using and abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
He’s also coming to grips with his role as the most successful athlete in the NFL since he was named the league’s quarterback of an all-time great football team by ESPN in 2007.
The Raiders’ first-round pick in the 2014 draft has been outspoken about his drug use for years and said he’s not a problem when it comes to being a high-profile player.
But now, after being cut, Carr said he wants to take a look in the mirror and realize that he didn’t make it to the big leagues.
“When I was a rookie, I was playing at a high level, playing for a team that had a championship on the line,” Carr said in an interview with “Good Morning America” on Thursday.
“So it’s an issue, but I also know there are people out there who are doing it who are not good people.
So I’m going in the same direction.”
Carr, who said he first started abusing prescription drugs when he was 19, is now in his sixth season with the Raiders and is averaging 6.9 yards per pass attempt and 4.3 yards per attempt rushing.
He is completing 60.3 percent of his passes, including a 63.6 percent completion rate in 2016.
Carr said he was in the midst of his sophomore year at Alabama when he discovered a drug that he was prescribed by his doctor.
He told the ESPN broadcast, “I felt like I was going to pass out or have a seizure.”
Cars problems were not limited to his drug abuse.
He was suspended for the final three games of his rookie season and spent a year in jail for allegedly stealing a prescription for oxycodone from his friend.
His arrest in December was related to an alleged drug deal with a former teammate.
The 24-year-old is not the first player to address his drug problems.
Last season, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended indefinitely after testing positive for an illegal drug in his system.
The NFL Players Association issued a statement in April that Carr’s treatment is not typical of NFL players and that he should have been more careful when taking prescription drugs.
“As a lifelong athlete, Derek has shown his compassion and empathy by sharing his story in a way that is consistent with his personal values and that of the NFL,” the statement said.
“He’s been a leader for his teammates and a great teammate for our organization, but now he’s going to take some time to consider how he can better be a good role model for his younger self.”