According to first-year coach Josh McDaniels, the Las Vegas Raiders are benching Derek Carr, the team’s starting quarterback since 2014.
Jarrett Stidham, acquired from the New England Patriots in an offseason trade, will start against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium, with undrafted rookie free agent Chase Garbers serving as the backup.
A source verified to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Carr and the Raiders agreed he would not be a distraction for the rest of the regular season. He was the only active Raiders player who did not participate in practice on Wednesday, with the organization citing his absence as “not injury related, personal.”
“The two parties discussed it and decided it was best,” the insider stated.
Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams, Carr’s college teammate whom Las Vegas acquired in the summer in a deal with the Green Bay Packers, said he talked with the quarterback earlier Wednesday but did not elaborate.
He also said that…
“I don’t believe anybody here was excited about it,” Adams remarked. “You know, him being one of my very dear friends and the reason I came here in the first place, I mean, I wouldn’t be here right now if he wasn’t here, so I believe everybody knows how I feel about him.
“And with that said, there’s a process of how things go, and I’m not going to sit here and go on and on, but obviously I support my guy and we’ve got to finish the season out the best way we can possible with all things considered.”
Carr signed a three-year, $121.5 million contract deal in the offseason, but he may be released for a $5.625 million salary-cap charge if the move is made within three days before the Super Bowl. Should he be injured, his $32.9 million compensation for next year and $7.5 million of his 2024 contract would be wholly guaranteed.
Carr was not at all happy
According to Fowler, the Raiders decided to protect Carr’s health and leave their options open this summer, including a potential trade. According to the sources, Carr’s return in 2023 is still on the table.
McDaniels stated there was no “finality” in the decision to close Carr.
“None of us is happy with where we’re at, but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play,” McDaniels said. “Derek was great. He understands the scenario that we’re in and the situation and is very supportive of the two young guys. He’ll do anything he can to help them.”
Carr has struggled in his debut season under McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler’s new Raiders administration. Carr had 14 interceptions, an NFL and career high, and his passer rating of 86.3 is his lowest since his rookie season.
Stidham, a fourth-round pick in 2019, will make his first professional start on Sunday. In three games this season, he has gone 8-for-13 for 72 yards.
“He can spin the ball,” Raiders running back Josh Jacobs said. “He’s been in the system longer than any quarterback we’ve had here. So he knows what’s going on. He knows what reads to make. It’s going to be fun to see him in the game.”
Defence are down
In addition, the Raiders placed defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Denzel Perryman on injured reserve. On Saturday, they both suffered left elbow and left shoulder injuries against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Las Vegas, which finished 10-7 under interim coach Rich Bisaccia a year ago, is now 6-9 and still mathematically alive for a postseason place as the regular season comes to a close against the 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
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