This afternoon, the Las Vegas Raiders announced that they shut Derek Carr down for the remainder of the season. What should this mean?
Josh McDaniels decided to shut Derek Carr down for the remainder of the season. In a shocking move, McDaniels handled the process quickly and efficiently. As a result, some people understand the necessity and logistics, while others choose to dwell within their feelings. If this is the end for Carr and the Raiders, this move feels justified.
Now, one underreported aspect of the decision is the financial part. First, the Raiders would save 29.25 million dollars in cap space if Vegas cuts or trades Carr. However, the decision must occur seventy-two hours after the Super Bowl. Next, the Raiders would only incur a 5.625 million dollar cap hit. More importantly, the benching saves the Raiders forty million dollars over the next two seasons in guaranteed money if Carr succumbs to injury. While the money isn’t next-level chess, it does show a foresight that the team lacked for the better part of decades.
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With the season circling the drain, the Raiders needed something. After the heartbreak in Pittsburgh, you could feel the tension in Josh Jacobs’ voice. The frustration of yet another lost season, a futile attempt to tread water while divisional rivals continue to improve. After nine seasons and zero playoff wins, the organization needed to set a course for the future. Nine years in the league and lackluster big-game performances force hands.
In a market filled with needy teams, Carr could command anywhere between a low first to a couple of seconds. Either way, the thirty-year-old quarterback does possess significant value. Under those circumstances, bleeding a team for draft capital does not fall out of the realm of possibility. Think about it: a veteran quarterback with an established personal statistical history of success. Without a doubt, that should yield a decent return for Las Vegas.
After Carr leaves, who should grab the reins? If McDaniels sees himself here for the long haul, a two-part plan could see the Raiders succeed without much rebuilding time. In signing Gardner Minshew, the Raiders could afford a competent veteran that flashes ability without breaking the bank. Next, drafting the future franchise quarterback in the first two rounds becomes of utmost importance. Granted, Minshew isn’t exciting but he does take care of the ball, as evidenced by his three-to-one touchdowns-to-interception ratio. Plus, Minshew could realistically slide into the backup role whenever the future quarterback becomes ready. That, in itself, solves two massive headaches.
By all accounts, a benching this late in the season suggests that Derek Carr’s time with the Las Vegas Raiders drew to a close. While we can discuss his impact and effect on the team in the following articles, make no mistake. The Raiders afforded him more grace and passes than any other team in NFL history. Nothing scapegoat about any of this. Derek Carr played nine seasons for the Raiders. Now, they must turn the page.