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NFL insider explains why Las Vegas Raiders cutting Derek Carr more likely than a trade

Based on the financials of the massive contract extension the Las Vegas Raiders gave Derek Carr in the offseason if the team was to part ways with him after this season, it is more likely to be by cutting him than moving a trade.

This has not been the season that the Raiders and their starting quarterback expected. After making offensive guru Josh McDaniels their new head coach, and swinging a blockbuster trade for superstar wide receiver Davante Adams, the expectation was that Las Vegas would be a serious threat to the Kansas City Chiefs’ place at the top of the AFC West.

However, they head into Week 17 of the NFL season with a 6-9 record and the slimmest of hopes to reach the NFL playoffs. While McDaniel’s work in his second stint as a head coach has left something to be desired, Carr’s regression this season has been one of the biggest culprits in their disappointing play. With his completion percentage, passer rating, and yards down significantly compared to 2021.

Related: Evaluating the important decision Las Vegas Raiders face with Derek Carr

Derek Carr’s decline in play has led to the demotion from his role on Wednesday, and to speculation the team could ship him off in the offseason. However, while many have assumed a trade would be the route to ending his nine-year tenure, an NFL insider claims the team releasing Carr from his contract is more likely.

Las Vegas Raiders benching Derek Carr could be a sign of eventual release

las vegas raiders, derek carr
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Pro Football Talk NFL insider Mike Florio wrote about the Raiders and Carr situation and explained why the organization cutting him is the strongest option for how his run in Silver-and-Black ends.

Florio explained that Carr has a special $40.4 million injury guarantee in his new deal. If the 31-year-old is unable to pass a physical before the third day of the 2023 waiver period, the option becomes fully invested. It is why McDaniels and his staff eventually made the decision to bench him today. Because the organization would like to avoid an injury that guarantees that option.

Unfortunately, the deadline for the guarantee happens prior to the start of the new league year and before they could trade him. While Florio suggests the Las Vegas Raiders and an interested team could agree to the terms of a deal, if that team backed out, it would leave Las Vegas on the hook for the $40.4 million.

  • Derek Carr stats (2022): 3,522 yards. 24 TD, 14 INT, 86.3 passer rating

That is why cutting Carr, and taking the cap hits by getting out from under the $32 million he is owed in 2023, and over $82 million the following years, is the most likely route for the Las Vegas Raiders next season and for future plans.