For a franchise that the unusual and odd has become the norm, the likely ending to Derek Carr’s career with the Las Vegas Raiders is fittingly unusual.
The Athletic is reporting that the nine-year veteran has left the team, with permission, to avoid being a distraction the final two weeks. That suggests he won’t practice or be at the final two games, Sunday at home against the San Francisco 49ers and in Week 18 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After being informed of his benching, Raiders QB Derek Carr has left the team, with their permission, to avoid being a distraction over the final two weeks of the season, according to a source.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) December 28, 2022
Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels announced Wednesday morning the team will sit Carr for the final two games of the season.
Backup QB Jarrett Stidham, who was in New England with McDaniels, is set to make his first career start. Also, rookie Chase Garbers will be the No. 2 quarterback and thus Carr will be inactive and done for the season.
So, a bad interception (his third of the game) that ended the Christmas Eve game at Pittsburgh will likely be Carr’s final play as a Raider since starting 91 games after being a second-round pick in 2014. Among Carr’s final public words as the Raiders’ starter was that the loss ‘stinks.’ This ends a sometimes turbulent stay for Carr in the Silver and Black.
Now, with the team still clinging to playoff hopes, he will be away from the team and ponder his future.
Of course, the big picture impact here is that by sitting Carr, the Raiders give a strong signal that his nine-season career with the team is over. The Raiders have just over $5 million in dead salary-cap money as part of an extension the team gave him this offseason. However, if Carr gets seriously injured during the remainder of this season, it would trigger more than $40 million in guaranteed money in 2023 and 2024.
So, this move gives Las Vegas insurance if they do, indeed, move on from Carr. McDaniels didn’t offer much on Carr’s future. He said there will be a lot of evaluating in the offseason and that a final decision on Carr’s future has not been made.
Carr has had a poor season, it’s been his worst in recent years. He has thrown for 3,522 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has completed just 60.8 percent of his passes.
Meanwhile, Carr’s college teammate Davante Adams addressed the situation. Adams, in his first year since being traded to the Raiders, clearly seems shell-shocked by the situation and it appeared he didn’t want to address the future.
Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller said he feels badly for Carr, but the team is also trying to rally around Stidham in this sudden change.