Charles Woodson Sends Eye-Opening Message on Derek Carr News

charles woodson

Getty NFL Hall of Famer Charles Woodson.

The Las Vegas Raiders are about to go through a major organizational shift with the news that Derek Carr is no longer the starting quarterback.

One Hall of Famer suggested Carr’s benching should not come as a shock.

“To be honest I’m not too surprised,” Raiders great Charles Woodson tweeted on December 28. “You must always impress the new regime. I don’t think he’s done that.”

Carr, 31, leads the league in interceptions with 14 and is 30th in completion percentage in the first year of general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels’ regime. A Raider for all nine seasons of his career, Carr was signed to a three-year, $121.5 million contract extension in April 2022.

Now, Jarrett Stidham will taking over for Las Vegas’ final two games of the season, but he’s almost certainly not the long-term option.

In McDaniels’ first season as head coach, the Raiders went 6-9 with Carr, who is 63-79 in his career, and according to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed, the quarterback is the scapegoat.

“Carr is the one taking the fall for this lost season,” Reed wrote in a story published December 28. “On a macro scale, Carr has played a hand in the Raiders finishing with a losing record in all but two of his nine seasons as the starting quarterback. That … makes it easy to see how the Raiders got here.”

Did Raiders Make Correct Decision?

Carr has looked elite at times, going to three Pro Bowls and finishing third in MVP voting in 2016, Carr’s third season in the league. But he has yet to win a playoff game.

According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Carr’s benching was a long time coming.

“In truth, Carr has been a marked man for a while — and it’s something he would joke about, saying that he was supposed to be traded years ago whenever a new rumor popped up,” Tafur wrote in a story published December 28.

Tafur reported that McDaniels and Ziegler met twice to discuss Carr’s future with the team and were likely leaning toward bringing him back as the starter for his 10th season. However, Tafur wrote, team owner Mark Davis might have had a say in the decision.

Ziegler and McDaniels knew that “Carr is a team captain and very respected by teammates in the locker room, and teammates may not think making him a scapegoat is fair or honorable,” Tafur wrote. “I think that is when Davis stepped in and decided it was time for a change.”

John Middlekauff, a podcaster and former contributor to The Athletic, echoed Tafur’s suspicions about Davis’ getting involved.

“My first reaction [to Carr’s benching] is this has Mark Davis written all over it,” Middlekauff tweeted. “I’ve heard for a long time that Mark Davis isn’t the biggest fan of [Derek Carr] and felt kind of stuck with him.”

Future Unclear for Raiders

The Raiders will now be entering another pivotal offseason. Despite McDaniels’ 6-9 record and a missed opportunity to reach the playoffs, the team appears to be sticking with him for at least another season. If he loses the Raiders gig after a disastrous 11-17 tenure with the Denver Broncos that lasted less than two years, he probably won’t get a shot being a head coach again. That’s why nailing Carr’s replacement at quarterback is extremely important. Tom Brady is the obvious candidate because he will become a free agent at the end of the season and has worked with McDaniels in the past when McDaniels was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots.

There will be plenty of quarterbacks linked to the Raiders in the coming months, but drafting a rookie seems like a strong possibility. Drafting and developing a quarterback could give McDaniels more time before Davis eventually replaces him.

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