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NFL insider criticizes Derek Carr for his response to benching

The Las Vegas Raiders received criticism from fans and even NFL executives for benching quarterback Derek Carr before Week 17 after being eliminated from playoff contention. There is now criticism directed toward Carr.

Selected by the Raiders with the 36th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr threw for over 3,5000 yards with more than 200 passing touchdowns for the franchise. Following a three-interception performance, head coach Josh McDaniels announced Carr would sit for the final two games.

The decision to start Jarrett Stidham, not allowing Carr to finish his Raiders’ career on his terms, sparked some backlash. Teammates were reportedly upset about their leader’s benching with both NFL analysts and executives suggesting Las Vegas didn’t do right by its long-time quarterback.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders owner influenced Derek Carr benching

After the move was announced and Stidham prepared to face the San Francisco 49ers, Carr left the team. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that the Raiders’ organization supported the decision, with Carr wanting to remove himself from a situation where he could be a distraction.

  • Derek Carr stats (2022): 24-14 TD-INT, 3,522 passing yards, 60.8% completion rate

NFL insider Peter King criticized Carr’s actions on Monday, writing in Football Morning in America that Carr’s absence means he isn’t there to support his teammates. King, who has covered the NFL for decades, also questioned the Raiders for supporting Carr’s absence.

“I don’t understand a player, such as Derek Carr with the Raiders, getting replaced as the starting quarterback of a team and then leaving the team so he won’t be a distraction. Nonsense. Starters have lost jobs since the beginning of time in all sports. They should come back and support the backup — and the coach shouldn’t say, It’s okay to leave. Life is about showing up, in all circumstances. It’s just weird that a guy loses his job and it’s fine and dandy for the player and the team that he simply becomes a non-person.”

Peter King on Derek Carr leaving the team, Las Vegas Raiders accepting it

Carr’s absence from the Raiders’ facility and not being physically present for practices and meetings is unusual. However, teammates like Davante Adams have also made it clear how much adoration they have for the veteran quarterback. The organization’s decision to bench Carr has likely still left some frustration inside the locker room, with veteran players presumably wishing they could finish the season with Carr.

It’s reasonable to conclude that Carr decided to stay away from the team so his presence wouldn’t create another problem inside the building. By staying away from the team, the 31-year-old quarterback avoids creating any unwanted tension or his presence serves as a reminder of the controversial move made by the team.

As for the Raiders’ support of Carr’s absence, teams are always looking for ways to eliminate any potential slight distraction that could arise. With little time remaining before the season ends in Las Vegas, the front office and coaching staff were happy to let Carr spend it with his family.