Raiders News: Derek Carr Benched For Final Two Games Of The Season

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Following the Las Vegas Raiders’ 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about the possibility of benching quarterback Derek Carr. McDaniels did not rule out the possibility and said he would do “the right thing” regardless of position.

As it turns out, the right thing is apparently getting a look at Jarrett Stidham.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have decided to bench Carr in favor of Stidham for the final two games of the season:

Raiders are benching Derek Carr and turning to Jarrett Stidham as their new starting QB.

Carr has thrown a league-leading 14 interceptions— including three Saturday night during a 13-10 loss to the Steelers.

Stidham has thrown only 61 passes and never has started an NFL game.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2022

This is a major decision for McDaniels, as questions about Carr’s future with the Raiders beyond this season have been running rampant due to his up-and-down performance this season. Carr now leads the NFL with 14 interceptions after throwing three picks in the loss in Pittsburgh. He has thrown at least one interception in the last five games while completing no more than 55 percent of his passes or in the last four.

This will mark the first career start for Stidham, a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2019 who has spent his entire career with McDaniels. He has thrown just 61 passes in his NFL career with two touchdowns and four interceptions, all of which coming in New England. This season with the Raiders, Stidham has completed 8 of 13 passes for 72 yards.

McDaniels said in the announcement that he wanted to evaluate the Raiders’ younger players at multiple positions while also noting that undrafted rookie Chase Garbers will serve as the backup, which would seem to indicate Carr being inactive. This will undoubtedly bring about more questions about his future with the franchise.

Despite signing a three-year extension before this season, the Raiders could get from under that deal with little financial burden if they release Carr before February 15. Doing so would cost the Raiders just $5.6 million against the salary cap as opposed to $33 million should they keep him on.

Carr has been the unquestioned leader of this Raiders team, however, and is loved by his teammates, in particular wide receiver Davante Adams who was Carr’s college teammate and close friend, a major reason why Adams wanted to join the Raiders. How a move away from Carr will affect the locker room remains to be seen.

And while this is a move for the future, the Raiders do mathematically still have a chance to make the playoffs this season. It would require a lot of help, but even the Raiders winning their final two games to make that slim chance possible is not a guarantee as they face two legit Super Bowl contenders in the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs to end the year.

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