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Derek Carr has been the Raiders starting quarterback for nine season in both Oakland and Las Vegas. But that ends on Sunday.
Coach Josh McDaniels confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Carr has been benched. The Raiders will start Jarrett Stidham against the San Francisco 49ers. McDaniels also said practice squad quarterback Chase Garbers will be promoted to the active roster and serve as the backup.
Carr not only is not playing and not active, but is benched for the season-finale as well.
Carr Evaluation Coming For Raiders
If this doesn’t strongly hint a change in quarterback for the Raiders in the offseason, I don’t know what does.
McDaniels didn’t shy away from the idea that a Carr offseason evaluation is coming.
“We’re all accountable to where we’re at,” McDaniels said. “I think this is more about an opportunity to see a guy we haven’t seen play in a situation like this against a couple of good teams, really good teams.
“Derek’s played a lot of football. There’s a lot of evaluating that’s going to take place here once the season is over in terms of how we make the most progress. What makes the most sense for everybody. And how we move forward.”
McDaniels did, however, stop short of saying that Carr is out. There will be an evaluation but perhaps the evaluation leads the Raiders back to Carr, the coach suggested.
Derek Carr Cap Suggests Moving On
“We were hoping to be in a different scenario than we are currently,” McDaniels said. “But there’s no finality to today. This is just a decision we thought, after talking about it and contemplating it, we thought would be an opportunity for us.
“There’s a lot to be sorted through once the season’s over.”
The decision on Carr obviously will have a lot to do with what he did this season. He’s thrown 24 TD passes and generally worked hard and tried to lead the team.
But his 14 interceptions already tie a career high, set last season, with two games still to play. And the fact the Raiders have a 6-9 record.
The offseason decision on Carr will also have a lot to do with his value as balanced with his price tag.
Carr is scheduled to cost $34.875 million against the salary cap next season. But the Raiders can save upwards of $29.2 million of that by cutting or trading Carr.
Raiders Reaction Will Be Interesting
Over the final two weeks of the season, the Raiders, however small and improbable, still have a chance of making the playoffs. But they are obviously prioritizing getting a full picture of their quarterback situation over making the unlikely.
The fallout of this move among veterans on the Raiders will be interesting because, obviously, they are going with a less proven quarterback to see if he can be the future at the expense of maximizing a chance to win.
One vet whose opinion will be interesting to hear is Davante Adams. He managed a trade to the Raiders in the offseason primarily so he could rejoin Carr, his best friend and former college teammate.