Derek Carr’s time with the Las Vegas Raiders is coming to an end as the team begins to explore trade options for the quarterback. This decision comes after Carr was unceremoniously benched during the final weeks of the 2022 season, signaling the end of his tumultuous tenure with the team.
Carr’s career with the Raiders has been a mix of highs and lows. He made three consecutive Pro Bowl trips (2015-2017) and led the team to two playoff appearances, but also faced six losing seasons and played through parts of two seasons with interim coaches. In 2022, Carr struggled to produce points for the Raiders, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title thanks to the offseason acquisition of former Fresno State running mate Davante Adams. Instead, the team often failed to sustain their first-half success throughout the game, losing leads in unfortunate ways and ultimately missing out on playoff contention.
First-year coach Josh McDaniels ultimately decided to bench Carr in favor of Jarrett Stidham for the final two weeks, a move that caught many by surprise. While Stidham performed well, the team ultimately lost both games, a familiar outcome for Raiders fans.
Carr signed an extension with the Raiders in early 2022, seemingly securing his future with the team and McDaniels. However, the extension also included a potential exit route for the Raiders, leaving a dead cap number of just $5.6 million in 2023 if the team decided to cut or trade him before June 1. With little financial penalty to consider, the Raiders are now exploring trade options for Carr.
As the offseason approaches, Carr will be a desirable option for teams seeking a quarterback. Despite his struggles in Las Vegas, he has proven to be a productive quarterback in the past and will likely attract attention from teams in need of a starter. However, questions about his long-term viability as a starter will linger.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Carr said goodbye to the Raiders organization and fan base, expressing gratitude for their support and looking ahead to his future with another team. “I once said that if I’m not a Raider I would rather be at home and I meant that, but I never envisioned it ending this way,” Carr wrote. “That fire burning inside of me to win a championship still rages. A fire no man can extinguish; only God.”
Carr’s benching and potential departure from the Raiders is just the latest chapter in the team’s ongoing search for a long-term solution at the quarterback position. From Rich Gannon to Carson Palmer to Carr, the Raiders have had a revolving door at quarterback, unable to secure sustained success.
As the Raiders move forward, they will once again be searching for a quarterback to lead the team. They may look to draft one in the first round or explore trade options. Whatever the case may be, the Raiders must find a quarterback who can bring an end to their ongoing saga and lead the team to sustained success.
As for Carr, he will now have the opportunity to start a new chapter in his career with another team. He is determined to win a championship and will work hard to prove that he can still be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Raiders will move on, but Carr’s legacy in the organization will not be forgotten.