Latest Leak Has Revealing Details on Derek Carr & Josh McDaniels’ Relationship

josh mcdaniels derek carr

Getty Josh McDaniels with Derek Carr.

The divorce between the Las Vegas Raiders and Derek Carr is inevitable and should be official by the time February 15 arrives. That is when Carr’s contract becomes guaranteed. The Raiders will now be in the market for a quarterback this offseason but it didn’t look like this would be the case less than a year ago.

In April 2022, the Raiders gave Carr a three-year contract extension. It appeared the plan was for him to be the starting quarterback for a long time. The relationship between the team and the quarterback soured much quicker than expected and Carr was benched with two games left in the season. He was with the team for nine seasons and remains one of the better quarterbacks in the league so what went wrong?

According to Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter, head coach Josh McDaniels and Carr may have been on different wavelengths.

“While Carr was no stranger to criticism from a coach, often time according to one member of the organization: ‘He has never had his mail read in front of the entire team like that,'” Carpenter wrote.

Carpenter elaborated on the subject.

“I asked them how they felt that impacted Derek: ‘He holds the ball and touches the ball on half of the plays every game. Of course he got ripped more than anyone, he was the guy who touched the ball more than anyone. I think he felt that McDaniels was unfairly putting everything on him,'” Carpenter wrote.

Carpenter reached out to a close friend of Carr, who agreed with some of the quotes he got on the quarterback.

“I shared the sentiments above with one of Derek’s best friends on the team, who said: ‘I can see that. Looking back, I do not think Josh was too hard on Derek; I don’t think he had taken such blunt force criticism in front of the team like that, and I think he was hurt.'”

Carr Had Stronger Support From Jon Gruden

When Jon Gruden took the Raiders’ head coaching job in 2018, there were questions regarding how long Carr might last. Gruden is tough on quarterbacks and was known to fall in and out of love with them quickly. Every season there were rumors that he’d make a quarterback change. However, a lot of that was outside noise. According to a number of players who spoke to Carpenter, Gruden and Carr had a great relationship.

“I think what Jon and Derek had going was magical. Derek was the guy everyone looked to,'” a player told Carpenter.

Once Gruden resigned, Carr started to feel the heat.

“When Jon was out, I think Derek felt unprotected,” another player told Carpenter.

McDaniels did help Carr get a new contract so there was good rapport at first but things eventually fell apart.

Raiders Expected Carr to Be QB of Future

If the Raiders end up signing Tom Brady, who has a close relationship with McDaniels, there will be speculation that the plan was to move on from Carr all along. However, that just wasn’t the case. Las Vegas didn’t have to give the quarterback a new contract that added a no-trade clause that will make it much harder to trade him. The Raiders just expected him to have a better season.

“There is no way, not in f***ing hell the Raiders give Carr the deal that they did if they saw this coming,” an executive told Carpenter. “Not only does Carr’s contract have the February decision date, but the no-trade. That deal made no sense if you aren’t sold on the guy.”

Carr was supposed to reach new heights this season with Davante Adams on the team but he took a step back. McDaniels deserves a portion of the blame for that but there’s no denying Carr wasn’t playing his best football.

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