Early on Wednesday, some surprising news was released coming out of Las Vegas. There has been speculation that the Raiders may rest Derek Carr for the rest of the season, in order to preserve his health for a possible trade. That made sense, and when Vegas’s betting line increased in favor of the 49ers by three this morning, that speculation seemed to have some merit.
Then, we found out the Raiders had indeed benched Carr for the team’s remaining two games. This was pretty surprising news, as the Raiders have had plenty of unsuccessful seasons with Carr at the helm, yet have never resorted to benching him. Afterwards, it was learned that Carr would be away from the team, in an effort to refrain from distractions. The only thing this news did was to ignite more speculation.
Dynamics in the Raiders’ Organization Regarding Derek Carr
The aforementioned first report on the situation came from Raiders’ insider Vic Tafur. Tafur mentioned that Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler, the head coach and GM, met for two nights discussing on what should be done with Carr as the season concludes.
A couple hours later, Tafur released a full story via The Athletic. In this, Tafur sheds some light on what could have went down behind the scenes:
“Ziegler and McDaniels met for two nights to discuss Carr’s status, and my read is that on Tuesday night, they were leaning toward keeping Carr as the starter. They have, after all, been preaching the importance of winning and are still technically alive for the playoffs… 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. I think that is when Davis stepped in and decided that it was time for a change.”The Athletic’s Vic Tafur
In this piece, Tafur is insinuating that McDaniels and Ziegler agreed on keeping Carr as the starter. With both holding Carr in a high regard, it’s not too surprising. Owner Mark Davis stepping up and making the final decision; however, is. Davis usually isn’t too assertive when it comes to football decisions, except he was here.
What Does the Future Hold?
This is a complicated question. As Tafur mentioned, Carr is very well respected in the locker room. This move could very well cause players to think he’s being scapegoated. A move like this can easily cause dysfunction in a locker room. Yet, it seems like this offseason may include a lot of change. It may not matter anyways.
For now, the only other quarterbacks the Raiders currently have are Jared Stidham and Chase Garbers. Neither are exciting prospects. At least Stidham will have the chance to prove himself. The quarterback market isn’t too impressive this offseason. If the Raiders can package Derek Carr with their first round draft pick, they could move up high enough to pick one of the top quarterbacks.
This is a massive decision, and it will likely have a ripple-effect throughout the next couple of seasons. This move screams “rebuild”. The Raiders should be looked at as a team to watch out for in the 2023 NFL draft.