Derek Carr’s nine-season tenure with the Las Vegas Raiders is over.
After benching him for the final two years, the team is now trying to trade Carr, who has bid farewell to the Raider Nation. Carr will have a new home in 2023 and the Raiders will have a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2013. You can follow all the news, analysis and rumors from the start of this saga more than two weeks ago here:
Here is our initial post on the Carr saga:
Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels made a major announcement on Wednesday, saying that quarterback Derek Carr will be benched for the final two games of the 2022 season.
Backup Jarrett Stidham will make his first start of his NFL career and undrafted rookie Chase Garbers will be the backup. Carr, who had the league’s starting quarterback streak, will be inactive and not in uniform for the final two games, both at home.
Let’s look at some initial thoughts on this major story:
Make no mistake, this is all about protecting assets in the offseason. The Raiders can present this any way they wish, but they are sitting Carr in these final two games to protect their salary cap. If Carr suffers a major injury, it will trigger about $33 million in guaranteed contract money in 2023 and more than $7 million in 2024. By sitting Carr, the Raiders will eat less than $6 million in cap room if they move on from him.
Derek Carr's benching suggests the Raiders will free up $29.25M of 2023 salary cap space by parting ways with him. If a trade can't be agreed upon before the 3rd day of 2023 waiver period (2/15) when Carr's $32.9M 2023 base salary & $7.5M of 2024 are fully GTD, he'll be released.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) December 28, 2022
McDaniels said on Wednesday that no final decisions have been made on Carr and I believe it to a point. But it’s clear they are setting the stage to move on from the guy who has been the Raiders’ starter since he was a second-round pick in 2014. Anything can happen: See the Jimmy Garoppolo saga in San Francisco this offseason. But it appears Carr has worn a Raiders’ uniform for the last time. In the end, he will be remembered for mostly average play and just two playoff appearances and no postseason wins.
The Raiders made the decision to put Carr in bubble wrap with a slight chance of still making the playoffs at 6-9. Yes, the Raiders need help but they are alive. McDaniels was asked about that and he noted that the team will be playing without defenders Chandler Jones and Denzel Perryman, who were put on the injured reserve Wednesday, ending their season. So, yes, the Raiders are giving up. I’m sure there will be some players in the locker room who wish they would be using their best quarterback (even though he has struggled of late) until they are officially eliminated. Basically, McDaniels announced to the world he doesn’t think the Raiders can beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at home or the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 18.
All about the draft?
The Raiders currently are in line for a top-10 draft pick and that won’t change if they lose the next two games. So, getting a better draft pick in a draft that is expected to be very strong at the top likely played a role in this decision as well.
Will he want to play elsewhere?
Carr has a no-trade clause that was written into his contract extension this offseason. But he and the Raiders’ brass will likely sit down this offseason and map out a suitable new home for him. There are plenty of teams that could make a play for him, including the New York Jets, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans among others. So, Carr could have choices. Still, Carr, who turns 32 in March, has said on multiple occasions he’d rather retire than wear another team’s uniform. We will see if that was BS or not. But Carr could cost the Raiders’ some draft capital if he decides to walk away from football rather than be traded as Jake Plummer did after in 2007, scuttling a trade from Denver to Tampa Bay. Like Plummer in 2006, Carr is being benched and may not want to do the Raiders any favors. Carr was reportedly not on the practice field on Wednesday, so clearly this is a tough time for him.
Speaking to one high-ranking NFL personnel exec, they believe a trade for Derek Carr could bring a similar return to what the Eagles got for Carson Wentz.— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) December 28, 2022
As a reminder, Wentz brought back a third and conditional first to Philadelphia
McDaniels, Ziegler buying time:
McDaniels and his buddy, Raiders’ general manager Dave Ziegler, have been extremely disappointing in their first season in Las Vegas. Yet, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has stood by them. Deciding that this is Carr’s fault (and, yes, some of it is) will buy the new brass time as they sell Davis on bringing their own quarterback to town. So, McDaniels could get, at least, couple of more years to prove himself worthy of being a head coach, which he hasn’t done yet either in Denver or in Las Vegas.
It’s not about Stidham:
McDaniels didn’t have a lot to say about Carr’s future. But he did say this is about seeing what Stidham, who was in New England with McDaniels and Ziegler, can do. No, it’s not. It’s about Carr’s future. Anything is possible, but going into the 2023 season with Stidham as the planned starter would be surprising to say the least.
Raiders bench Derek Carr for Jarrett Stidham for 49ers' visit Sunday— Cam Inman (@CamInman) December 28, 2022
Kyle Shanahan: "He can make every throw, similar to Carr. He hasn’t been out there a lot, so hopefully we can confuse him."
Stidham will make 1st start; faced 49ers in 2020 in reliefhttps://t.co/nff9XJftyx
Let the speculation begin:
Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers. Mac Jones. Geno Smith. Lamar Jackson. Daniel Jones. Garoppolo. Baker Mayfield. Bryce Young. C.J. Stroud. Will Levis. Let the crazy season begin. That’s what today’s decision has opened the flood gates to.
QB market gonna be wild this offseason:— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) December 28, 2022
Lamar (not really)
What about Davante?
There will be a lot of conjecture that Davante Adams will want out after one season now that his college buddy is probably on his way out. But it’s not that easy. The Raiders have a ton invested in Adams and they will try to ensure him of the future. Really, Adams doesn’t have much leverage if he is upset. For now, I’d put this worry on the backburner.
The oddsmakers know:
In the 30 minutes before McDaniels’ announcement, the betting line for Sunday’s game jumped hard. At our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook, the line opened with the 49ers being a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 44.5 It has become a 10-point spread with a total of 41.5.