Raiders bench Carr in favor of Stidham

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Raiders (6-9) are still alive for a potential post-season run. There is less than a 1% chance the team can still sneak into the playoffs. However, if that were to come to fruition, it will be without Raiders all-time passing leader Derek Carr.

The Raiders announced the benching of Carr in favor of backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham on Wednesday. The move was forthcoming after Carr routinely made ill-advised downfield throws while being inaccurate this season.

As a result, Carr has endured his worst season statistically since becoming the Raiders starting quarterback his rookie season. The 60.8% completion rate ranks second-worst over his nine-year career while boasting a 86.3 passer rating.

Also, Carr’s salary of $33 million in 2023 and $7.5 million in 2024 become fully guaranteed if he gets hurt and is unable to pass the team’s physical. This is a clear sign of a team looking to replace Carr rather than keep him in Las Vegas despite what Raiders coach Josh McDaniels simply labeled as an “opportunity” for Stidham.

Over the last five games, Carr has a 1:1 TD to INT ratio, which is simply not good enough for a team this is built on protecting the football while winning the turnover battle.

“I had a good conversation with the quarterbacks this morning, so we’re going to go ahead and start Jarrett [Stidham] the last couple games of the season here,” McDaniels said. “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.”

Who is Jarrett Stidham?

  • 2019 4th-round pick (No. 133) | Auburn
  • 6-foot-2, 218 pounds
  • Intelligent quarterback who understands zone coverage.
  • Above-average accuracy with average arm strength.
  • Shows awareness to manipulate the pocket.
  • Tough scrambler who fights for extra yards.
  • Deep ball accuracy needs serious work.
  • Eyes drop when pressure arrives.
  • Backup quarterback with starter potential.

Back on September 7, I asked Stidham what he takes pride in as an NFL quarterback. I talked to him about his consistency while being accurate when going via progressions. Stidham responded by saying this:

Why the move was made in trading for Stidham in real-time?

  • Raiders needed to find quarterback who fits McDaniels’ system.
  • QB Garrett Gilbert was a short-term solution coming from New England.
  • QB Nick Mullens is a strong backup but Stidham offers higher ceiling.
  • Two strong backups brew McDaniels “iron sharpens iron” mentality.

Instant Gratification vs. Long-term Gains in real-time

  • Raiders GM Dave Ziegler found value by only needing to swap late-round picks for backup QB.
  • Stidham potentially can give stability to QB position.
  • Mullens now has instant competition for backup duties.
  • By gaining a 2023 7th-round pick (from New England), Ziegler traded one of them to Atlanta along with WR Bryan Edwards for a 2023 5th-round pick.
  • As the Raiders look toward the future in assessing their 2023 roster, it will now need to evaluate the most important position in football — quarterback.
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