Raiders HC Josh McDaniels Talks Potentially Benching Derek Carr for Jarrett Stidham

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 27, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders and Derek Carr #4 react during the second half against the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels hasn't ruled out benching star quarterback Derek Carr for backup Jarrett Stidham.

"That's not good enough, you know what I mean?" McDaniels said Monday in response to a question about Carr's recent performances, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vincent Bonsignore. "And for us to be able to win this time of the year and be productive offensively, you have to throw the ball better than what we've thrown it at times here over the last month-in-a-half."

While later discussing general playing-time decisions over players with injury or contractual issues, McDaniels added he wouldn't treat the quarterback position any differently in the event he thought a change is required.

"I think there's a possibility that we would do the right thing, regardless of the position, in terms of the team," the coach said.

While McDaniels didn't name Carr, he also refused to say his starting quarterback wouldn't change before the end of the season.

Through his first 10 starts this season, Carr threw 15 touchdowns to five interceptions while averaging 243.5 yards per game. His performance has since fallen off noticeably. The three-time Pro Bowler has averaged 217.4 yards per contest with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions over the last five weeks.

The odds of Stidham actually replacing Carr are probably low. The 2019 fourth-round pick has thrown for 342 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in 11 appearances.

McDaniels' comments are nonetheless pretty damning for a player who signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension in the spring and is supposed to be the franchise QB.

Carr's contract does provide the Raiders with an escape route this offseason. Cutting or trading him before June 1 would result in a $5.6 million dead cap hit but save $29.3 million in salary-cap space.

Perhaps that's an option the front office will seriously consider if Carr's slide continues over the final two games.