Chris Carr talks about how his two years with the Ravens have been the most fun he's had in the NFL. The Ravens cornerback points out how it's exciting to suit up for a playoff team each year.
But those things aren't going to entice Carr back to the Ravens when free agency begins. Carr only wants to return if it means remaining in the starting lineup.
Carr, who became a full-time starter last year for the first time in his career, isn't ready to relinquish his job.
"Yeah, I want to play here, but I also want to have a big role," Carr said at Ed Reed's football camp Wednesday. "If they see me having a big role, then I'm going to want to come back here. If not, then no because I feel like every year of my career I've gotten better and I feel like I'm only going to get better."
In his first five seasons in the NFL, Carr started a total of 10 games for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Ravens. Last season, Carr was expected to be the team's nickel back until Domonique Foxworth sustained a season-ending knee injury just as training camp was about to start.
Carr was the Ravens' most consistent cornerback last season, finishing fifth with a career-high 67 tackles, forcing three fumbles and intercepting two passes.
"I don't want to be pigeonholed as a backup because I'm not a backup," Carr said. "I know I'm better than a lot of corners in this league. And this year I'm going to be better than I was last year. If they want me to play a big role, then, yes, I definitely want to come back. If they don't and another team wants me to play a big role, then I'll probably go someplace else."
Carr, 28, signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Ravens in 2009. He is now one of three unrestricted free-agent cornerbacks on the Ravens, joining Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington. That's why Carr wasn't surprised when the Ravens drafted two cornerbacks (Jimmy Smith in the first round and Chykie Brown in the fifth).
Still, Carr said he still envisions a big role in a Ravens cornerback group that includes Foxworth, Lardarius Webb and the two rookies.
"To me, it was evident that I was just as good or better than everybody that we had and they know that I know everything," Carr said. "I'm versatile. They know how well I jelled with everybody and how well I communicated with Ed Reed and with Dawan [Landry] and with all the other corners. I couldn't imagine them thinking that I can't do it. My confidence is sky high. I'm not really worried about what they're thinking. It's a waiting game. I'll tell you one thing: If I don't come back, it's been great."
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