Raiders bench Derek Carr, will start Jarrett Stidham vs. 49ers

The Las Vegas Raiders are making a quarterback change.

Jarrett Stidham will start the final two games of the regular season in place of longtime QB Derek Carr, head coach Josh McDaniels announced Wednesday. The Raiders host the San Francisco 49ers this weekend and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 18.

“None of us are happy with where we’re at, but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had a lot of playing time,” McDaniels said. “Derek was great. He understands the stage we’re in and the situation and [he is] very supportive of the two young people [quarterbacks].”

Carr has been the Raiders’ starting quarterback for the past nine seasons, dating back to his rookie year in 2014. The Raiders have made the playoffs twice in that span, losing in the wild-card round both in 2016 (with Carr injured ) as in 2021.

But Carr has struggled in McDaniels’ first year as the Raiders’ head coach. His 60.8% completion percentage is the lowest of his career other than his rookie season. Carr has thrown for 3,522 yards, 24 touchdowns and a league-leading 14 interceptions in 2022.

Carr is signed with the Raiders through 2026. However, the Raiders could avoid paying him more than $40 million in guaranteed salary and would incur just $5.6 million in dead salary cap space if they cut him or they change before February 15. That money would also have been guaranteed if Carr had suffered a major injury before the end of 2022, giving the Raiders another incentive to bench him.

Carr has reportedly decided to stay away from the team for the remainder of the season, further fueling speculation that his days as a Raider may be numbered.

Stidham joined McDaniels in Las Vegas after the two were together in New England, where McDaniels served as the offensive coordinator and Stidham as the drafted backup QB. He has 342 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions on 61 career passing attempts heading into Sunday’s matchup against the 49ers’ defense.

This game starts at 4:05 PM ET on FOX.

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