The Las Vegas Raiders decided to move on from veteran quarterback Derek Carr before the end of a disappointing 2022 season for the franchise. A move that was supposed to help the team backfired and the authority behind it now seems to be known.
Team officials received plenty of criticism this past offseason when they moved on from Carr. He was well-liked by most of the fan base and was beloved in the locker room as a leader and was appreciated for his calming presence during difficult times. However, the organization decided Carr’s play didn’t meet the standard needed to win.
- Derek Carr stats 2023: 2,121 passing yards, 89.9 QB rating, 65.5% completion rate, 10-4 TD-INT, 6.7 yards per attempt
- Las Vegas Raiders QB stats 2023: 1,958 passing yards, 74.1 QB rating, 63.8% completion rate, 8-13 TD-INT, 6.8 yards per attempt
Las Vegas initially wanted Tom Brady to replace Carr, but the future Hall of Famer retired and made it clear he wouldn’t make a comeback. Once Brady was off the table and the franchise couldn’t move up for the No. 1 overall pick to draft Bryce Young, veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo became the sole target.
Josh McDaniels, who served as both the Raiders’ head coach and de facto general manager, orchestrated the Garoppolo signing. He was convinced their years spent together with the New England Patriots meant Garoppolo would come in knowing the system and could thrive in it. Instead, Garoppolo struggled and was benched after Las Vegas fired McDaniels.
While McDaniels has received the majority of the blame for the Raiders’ issues and was not well-liked by players, it seems he wasn’t the one behind the Carr separation.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, it was Raiders’ owner Mark Davis who led the push to replace Carr at the end of the 2022 season.
Las Vegas reportedly knew it would have difficulties trading its former franchise quarterback. When Carr signed his original contract extension in 2023, former team president Dan Ventrelle included a no-trade clause in the deal. Because of that clause, Carr blocked any deal Las Vegas attempted and the Raiders were forced to release him.
The reports following McDaniels’ firing have made it clear many in Las Vegas are happy he is out of the building. Furthermore, reporters have provided insight from team sources suggesting McDaniels was behind many of the offseason moves that didn’t work out.
However, Rapoport’s reporting suggests Davis is the one who was ultimately responsible for pushing Carr out and the move came after he convinced McDaniels. Considering Davis’s history of being involved inn football operations, potential head coach and general manager candidates might want assurances Davis will not be as involved moving forward.