The Las Vegas Raiders have officially benched Derek Carr, which could spell the end of his time in the silver and black after nine years. There always seemed to be chatter about the Raiders wanting to move on from Derek Carr, and it looks like that’ll happen after nine seasons as the team’s signal caller.
The move was made on Wednesday. Not only that, Carr isn’t even going to be the backup, so he’s essentially been demoted off of the roster. Furthermore, later in the day, it was reported that Carr would even step away from the Raiders completely for the remainder of the regular season.
So, in a matter of a week, he went from starter to effectively not being on the team anymore. This year has not gone well for Carr and the Raiders. After a promising 10-7 season, they sit at 6-9, and while still mathematically in the playoff hunt, will likely be on the couch come mid-January.
Carr is enduring an especially poor season passing the football. He’s thrown 24 touchdowns against 14 interceptions for an 86.3 rating. He’s thrown nine interceptions in the past five games and has clearly become a liability when on the field.
This does appear to be the end for Carr in a Raiders uniform. If that is the case, he’ll have played and started in 142 games, compiling a 63-79 record. He’d have completed 64.6% of his passes for 35,222 yards, 217 touchdown passes, and 99 interceptions.
He’s earned a 91.8 passer rating in his regular-season career.
Derek Carr is a unique player. In my opinion, you can divide every single quarterback in the NFL into three categories: QBs you win because of, QBs you can win with, and QBs you can win in spite of.
Every quarterback falls into one of those three categories.
Patrick Mahomes is a QB you win because of. Jimmy Garoppolo is a QB you can win with, and Zach Wilson is a QB you win in spite of. For Derek Carr, he can easily fit into all three categories, making him hard to assess.
He’s won some games for the Raiders, but he’s also played well enough that the team can win, and has also played bad enough for the team to scrape by with.
He’s the definition of an average quarterback, and for some teams, will be very attractive. My early guess is that he ends up on the Washington Commanders, bringing some much-needed stability to a franchise that desperately needs it and has a roster ready to go.
He’s a slightly better version of Alex Smith and is probably in the same tier as Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s fine, but nothing special. Derek Carr can still play in and start in this league for the next half-decade if he wanted to.
Contractually, whether the Raiders outright cut him or find a trade partner, they are saving tens of millions against their cap and have very little dead money to deal with.