Sunday, June 4 2023

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 first-string 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 is happy with where we’re at, but we think it’s an opportunity to evaluate a younger player who hasn’t had much time to play,” McDaniels said. “Derek was great. He understands the scenario that we’re in and the situation and [he is] very supportive of the two young [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 in both 2016 (with Carr injured) and in 2021.

But Carr has struggled in McDaniels’ first year as Raiders head coach. His 60.8% completion percentage is the lowest of his career aside from 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 over $40 million in guaranteed salary and would incur a dead salary cap hit of just $5.6 million if they cut or trade him by Feb. 15.

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

That game kicks off at 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX.

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