Raiders Leak Exactly Why Derek Carr Was Released: Report

josh mcdaniels derek carr

Getty Josh McDaniels with Derek Carr.

When the Las Vegas Raiders hired Josh McDaniels last year, he wasted little time committing to Derek Carr as his starting quarterback. The team even gave him a three-year contract extension. It quickly became evident that the coach and quarterback weren’t as strong of a fit as originally expected.

Carr struggled throughout the season despite a supporting cast on offense filled with elite talent. His 86.3 quarterback rating in 2022 was his worst since he was a rookie. While Carr didn’t play well, McDaniels certainly deserves a portion of the blame for the quarterback’s struggles. Neither side has come out and taken direct shots at the other but there have been a number of leaks. Vic Tafur of The Athletic revealed some leaks from both camps since Carr was benched:

Both sides could take the high road, but there has been dirty laundry aired out — and there will be more. Neither side can help it.

It’s been leaked that Carr wasn’t tough enough to hang in the pocket or play well in cold weather. And he certainly missed some throws this season.

As for the Raiders, they didn’t let Carr operate as freely at the line of scrimmage as he had under Jon Gruden and Rich Bisaccia. And there were communication issues.

Carr Suggested McDaniels Wasn’t Clear With Him

Carr’s future with the Raiders was put into question every year under head coach Jon Gruden. The two eventually formed a strong relationship and it appeared that they’d be together for years to come before Gruden resigned during the 2021 season. One thing Carr appreciated was that the coach was always clear with him.

He doesn’t believe that was the case with McDaniels.

“I’ll say this, depending on who the coach was and all those kinds of things, they definitely let me know how they felt,” Carr told reporters during the Pro Bowl Games, via Tafur. “So although there was speculation, I wasn’t ever too worried about it because I knew where I stood.

“Now this situation was different, and it is what it is. We’ll both move on, and I think it’s good for everybody.”

Better for Both Sides to Move On

Carr has had some high highs and low lows with the Raiders. He was only able to lead them to a winning record twice and never won a playoff game. At the same time, he became the all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns in franchise history. He’ll always be an important part of the team’s history but it was time to move on. Carr will be better having a fresh start and the Raiders can use the money they save from cutting on fixing the defense.

Sometimes things just grow stale and a reset is necessary. The Raiders weren’t going anywhere with Carr as long as McDaniels was the head coach. The team didn’t want to cycle through another head coach. McDaniels will now get a chance to hand-pick his next quarterback and hope that he’ll find the one who can get the team over the hump. If the Raiders downgrade from Carr and get worse, things could ugly for the team quickly.

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