Carr signs; Texans take WR GaffneyPosted: Saturday April 20, 2002 9:18 PM
HOUSTON (AP) -- David Carr got everything he want -- and more.
The Fresno State quarterback, drafted first overall by the expansion Houston Texans on Saturday, signed a seven-year contract that could pay him $60 million.
And, just to make him feel at home, the Texans gave him a wide receiver to throw to by picking Florida's Jabar Gaffney with their first pick in the second round.
"They do it big in Texas," Carr said. "I can't say enough how I feel about the Texan organization. I'm proud to be a Texan and I want to beat up on the Cowboys more than anyone else."
Carr, the nation's leading passer with 46 touchdown passes and 4,839 passing yards last season, will get his chance against the Cowboys on Sept. 5 at Reliant Stadium.
First, Carr has to learn the Texans' offense and earn a starting job. He doesn't expect veteran quarterback Kent Graham to hand him the job.
"I'm going to pick his brain. He's seen more things in this league and I haven't even taken a snap," Carr said. "This is not my team right now. It's Tony Boselli's team and guys like Jermaine Lewis. Those are the real Texans right now."
Carr's contract had been waiting only the approval of the NFL Management Council to put its stamp on the deal.
Texans owner Bob McNair presented Carr's wife, Melody, with yellow roses and quickly got Carr's signature on the contract.
"It's good to get the formality gone and let's get going on football," general manager Charley Casserly said.
Casserly said the Texans would go for the best athlete on the board rather than choose for need, but got both with Gaffney.
"I can't think of a better scenario than to pick David Carr in the first round and then find somebody for him to throw to in the second round," Capers said. "We went according to grades and Jabar was the highest rated player when our pick came up."
Gaffney played two seasons for Florida. Last season was eighth in the nation averaging 108.3 yards receiving.
"I get to come in there and everyone is on the same page," Gaffney said. "David Carr is coming in and we are all starting from the bottom and building. It's exciting. I've seen what he's done and I get a chance to be one of his receivers.
"Maybe I can be his go-to guy."
Carr was delighted to learn on the flight home in McNair's private jet that the Texans had chosen a wide receiver in the second round.
"If there was enough room on the plane, I'd have done back flips," Carr said. "He's an exciting receiver. The whole Florida team is exciting. We are two young guys and hopefully we can grow up together."
Carr said he wants to start as quickly as possible.
"I am going to do everything I can to be ready to play that first game, but it's going to be the Texans' call," Carr said. "What I'm going to do is work at earning the spot. I don't want it handed to me."
With Carr assured of being the Texans' quarterback of the future, questions now turn to how soon he might become the starter and if his sidearm passing motion will be a problem in the pros.
"We're going to work on some things," Carr said. "As many things as they want me to do I'll do. I want it to be second-nature when I get on the field."
Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer expects to work with Carr when he reports for mini-camp in May and Capers isn't worried about mechanics. He likes Carr's arm strength and quick release, which remind him of Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre.
"Our whole evaluation of David was his arm strength and his quick release," Capers said.
Carr led Fresno State to a 11-3 record last season. He had nine interceptions and 17 batted balls in 533 passing attempts.
The Texans had the first pick overall and also two picks in rounds two through seven.
With their second pick in the second round, the Texans chose offensive tackle Chester Pitt of San Diego State.