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NFL Rumors: Derek Carr Stepping Away from Raiders for Final 2 Games After Benching

Erin WalshDecember 28, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 24: Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)
Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who has been benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham, is stepping away from the team for the final two games of the regular season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Carr and the Raiders determined that him not being around the team would be what's best. He won't practice and will be listed as "not injury related," Rapoport added.

Stidham is expected to start Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers and will be backed up by Chase Garbers. The Raiders acquired Stidham in an offseason trade with the New England Patriots.

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels announced Wednesday that Carr was being benched. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler then reported that the move was made "in part to preserve his health for a potential trade this offseason."

The news of Carr's benching came as somewhat of a surprise after he signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension with the franchise in April. However, the veteran's performance this season has been subpar.

Through 15 games, Carr completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 3,522 yards and 24 touchdowns against a league-high 14 interceptions. His 60.8 completion percentage is the lowest it has been since his second season in the league in 2015.

Carr's struggles have resulted in the Raiders sitting third in the AFC West with a 6-9 record. It's been a particularly disappointing season for the offense following the addition of wide receiver Davante Adams, Carr's favorite target while he was in college at Fresno State.

With the Raiders expected to miss the playoffs, Carr's benching makes a lot of sense, especially when looking at his contract over the next two years.

If Carr were to sustain an injury in the final two games of the season, his 2023 salary, which is $32.9 million, and part of his 2024 salary worth $7.5 million would become fully guaranteed. Those figures will become guaranteed if Carr is still on the roster by Feb. 15.

A number of quarterback-needy teams could be interested in trading for Carr. The Washington Commanders, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets and Carolina Panthers could all be in need of a new signal-caller ahead of the 2023 season.

However, teams could also wait and see if the Raiders end up releasing Carr. Las Vegas would only take on a $5.625 million dead cap hit by cutting Carr before June 1.