Aidan O’Connell on Wearing Derek Carr’s Former Jersey Number: “It Felt Disrespectful”

The Raiders raised a few eyebrows last year when it was announced that Aidan O’Connell would be wearing no. 4 just a few months after Derek Carr’s nine-year career with the team came to an awkward end under former head coach Josh McDaniels.

It was announced a few weeks ago that O’Connell will wear no. 12 in his second season with the Raiders, and he talked this week about why the decision was made to change his number.

O’Connell said it was never his decision to wear no. 4 number in the first place.

“I just didn’t want to be 4 anymore. I didn’t pick no. 4,” O’Connell said on The Rush with Maxx Crosby. “I was actually 9 and then Tyree [Wilson] wanted 9, so they gave 9 to Tyree. That was in like the first week I was here last year, and then they gave me 4 and I was a rookie, you kind of just do what you’re told. Then in the offseason, it felt to me this is Derek’s number. He wore it for that long and he’s the franchise leader and all that stuff. It felt disrespectful, so I just wanted to kind of give that back to him.”

There has been a lot of discussion about why McDaniels chose to give O’Connell the no. 4 jersey, and at least one insider has reported that it was an innocent decision by the organization.

Sports Illustrated insider Hondo Carpenter suggested last year that the decision wasn’t intended to be a shot at Carr.

“They absolutely did know it was Derek’s number,” Hondo said on the Las Vegas Raiders Insider podcast in December. “Their process [was] ‘Hey, Derek wanted to go.’ Remember, they circled back. ‘Derek wanted to go, and he didn’t leave us hating him, or him hating us, and since we don’t retire numbers, it’s not going to matter to him. He’s on to his next team, so let’s give [Aiden] that number and move on.’”

Looking back, if it occurred to a rookie that wearing Carr’s number was “disrespectful” to the franchise leader in just about every meaningful quarterback statistic, why wouldn’t McDaniels have realized it?

Maybe McDaniels was way out of touch with the team and the fan base, but it’s hard to imagine anyone in his position being that naive.

With that in mind… who would have guessed that a playoff team like what the Raiders had in 2021-22 would implode so quickly and to degree that it did the week before McDaniels was fired.

x: @raidersbeat


4 thoughts on “Aidan O’Connell on Wearing Derek Carr’s Former Jersey Number: “It Felt Disrespectful”

  1. Wearing #12 is disrespectful. That was Ken snake Stabler. How about #13?

  2. Yes i thought it was disrespectful towards Carr , but McDaniels has no respect

  3. He should go with 0, give him
    0 and see if he can make it great. I know the raiders don’t retire numbers , but there are a few nobody should ever wear again ….. 12 is one, 32 another, 75, 00, 78, 63, 25… just don’t give them out ever imo.

    McDaniels letting him have 4 , just seems like something he would do and then claim innocence that it wasn’t intentional…even from a distance we saw through you Mickey D

  4. I’ve heard and I’ve read and I’ve seen all sorts and amounts of BS in my time, but saying this was not a shot at Derek Carr cannot be exceeded. It’s insulting that anyone would or could believe this.

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