Raiders bench Derek Carr for final two games of regular season

The Las Vegas Raiders are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot with two games remaining, but face San Francisco and Kansas City, and with that in mind, the team has decided to start planning for the off-season.

Step one: Bench Derek Carr.

First-year head coach Josh McDaniels confirmed the move Wednesday.  Vegas will start Jarret Stidham this week hosting the Niners, with former Cal quarterback Chase Garbers serving as the backup.

Carr has been the starting quarterback since 2014 for the silver-and-black and holds multiple franchise passing records.

He signed a three-year extension this past offseason worth $121.5 Million, but should he be released by mid-February, he would count just $5.625 Million against the Raiders salary cap.

Carr’s benching is part prohibitive for the Raiders, too, as in the event of serious injury these last two games, Carr would be owed the full $32.9 Million of his 2023 salary as well as an additional $7 Million of his 2024 salary.

The Raiders acknowledge the decision to bench Carr helps keep their offseason plans open regarding what to do with their longtime starting quarterback, including releasing Carr, trading him, or having him return, which is still a possibility.

An ESPN story points out Carr has thrown a league-leading 14 interceptions this year in his first season under McDaniels, and his passer rating of 86.3 is his lowest mark since his rookie season.

The Raiders have blown multiple games in which they led by at least double-digits this season, marring a year that has at times looked hopeful for a return to the playoffs.