An anonymous NFL executive took aim at the Las Vegas Raiders this week for their benching of quarterback Derek Carr.
According to Mike Sando of The Athletic, the exec expressed their belief that the Raiders were "classless" in their handling of Carr: "Derek Carr is one of the 12 or 15 or 18 best quarterbacks. That is not trash, but that is how they treated him. To me, it was almost like they were angry that in their minds, 'We can't win with this guy, so eff him.' I think that is a very classless move."
The Raiders announced last week that they would start Jarrett Stidham at quarterback for the final two weeks of the season, and Carr made the decision to step away from the team to avoid being a distraction, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler (h/t ESPN's Paul Gutierrez).
Carr had been the Raiders' starter since they selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft out of Fresno State. He started all 142 regular-season games he appeared in, posting a record of 63-79.
While Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler, the 2022 season was less-than-ideal for him, as he completed just 60.8 percent of his passes—his lowest mark since his rookie season. He also threw for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and a league-high 14 interceptions.
In many ways, Carr has become the scapegoat for the Raiders' failures this season. Nine of their 10 losses have been by one score, and many of them saw Vegas blow fairly sizable leads.
Since the Raiders can release Carr after the 2022 season while incurring only $5.625 million in dead cap, benching him seems like a precursor to a release or a trade.
Although the NFL is a business, it would be an unceremonious end to the tenure of a quarterback who led the franchise for nine years.
The manner in which the Raiders benched Carr didn't sit well with many, including the anonymous executive, but the move did seem to pay immediate dividends.
Stidham was spectacular in his first career NFL start Sunday, throwing for 365 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a 37-34 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
If Stidham performs well again next week, he could potentially have a chance to win the Raiders' starting job in 2023, so it is at least understandable why the organization wanted to get a look at him.