Raiders Announce Decision on Benching Derek Carr

jarrett stidham derek carr

Getty Jarrett Stidham & Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders.

After the Las Vegas Raiders essentially killed their playoff hopes by losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it looked like there was a good chance Derek Carr could get benched. On Monday, Josh McDaniels didn’t rule out the possibility. With just two games left in the season, the team made an announcement on their plans for Carr for the rest of the season.

McDaniels told the media that the Raiders will be benching Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham over the final two games.

“We’re gonna go ahead and start Jarrett the last couple games of the season here,” McDaniels said Wednesday. “None of us are happy with where we’re at but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play. Talking to Derek, who was great, he understands the scenario we’re in and the situation and very supportive of the two young guys.”

This will be the first time in his nine-year career that Carr won’t start due to any reason other than injury related. He had started 91 straight games for the Raiders prior to this news, which was the longest active streak in the NFL for a quarterback on a single team.

Why Bench Carr Now?

Carr hasn’t been playing well as of late. His 66.8 passer rating this December is the sixth-worst by a Raiders quarterback over the past 15 seasons, per Josh Dubow.

With him playing so poorly and the playoffs out of reach, it’s understandable why the Raiders would want to make a change. However, the situation goes deeper than that. Carr signed a contract extension with the team in the offseason but Las Vegas gave themselves an out. If they cut him within a few days after the Super Bowl, they’ll only be on the hook for a $5.6 million dead cap hit. The only way his contract would become guaranteed before would be if he suffered a serious injury. Carr’s future with the team is in doubt so they had to ensure he wouldn’t get injured.

There’s still a chance that the quarterback stays in Las Vegas past this season but the odds of that happening took a serious hit with this move. Never say never but it appears that it’s the end of an era for the Raiders.

Chase Garbers to Be No. 2 QB

Carr isn’t just out as the starter, but he’s also not going to be the backup. McDaniels also announced that undrafted rookie quarterback Chase Garbers will be serving as Stidham’s backup.

The former California standout has been on the practice squad all season and spent all of the offseason with the team. He’s had nothing but time to learn and try to pick up the system. With the news that Garbers is the backup, the Raiders will have two quarterbacks active on Sunday who have never started an NFL game. This is coming against the No. 1 San Francisco 49ers defense. It’s not an ideal team to get your first start against but Stidham has to be ready. The Raiders likely don’t know what their plans are at quarterback next season yet but Stidham looking great against an elite defense would at least put him in the discussion.

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