Congratulate Raiders’ Mark Davis on latest weak Vegas feat: Parking Derek Carr

Congratulate Raiders’ Mark Davis on latest weak Vegas feat: Parking Derek Carr

Since saying goodbye to the Bay Area — and the Walnut Creek PF Chang’s he proudly called his office — Mark Davis has been pretty successful. Some in his adopted state might call him “The Cooler.”

Nevada Mark has been steeped in drama during his three years in Sin City, firing two team presidents and two senior financial executives, and accepting the resignation of head coach Jon Gruden — whose hiring Davis once called a “dream realized” – on the verge. of a scandal involving racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails.

The Raiders owner has also faced allegations that he fostered a “hostile workplace environment”. Oh, and he reacted to the team’s second playoff appearance in 19 seasons in January by cleaning house and flipping some of his best players.

Then on Wednesday, Nevada Mark took the dysfunction to another level. Four days before the San Francisco 49ers visit Allegiant Stadium in a game with potential playoff implications for both teams, Davis parked his Carr.

As in Derek Carr, the quarterback who gave everything he had for the Oakland Raiders (2014-19) and the franchise’s weirdest incarnation (no, I won’t dignify the name), but apparently suited up in Silver and Black for last time.

Mathematically, the Raiders (6-9) still have a shot to make the postseason. Realistically, Nevada Mark could have rolled up one of his father’s old white nylon Hall of Fame sweatshirts and held it as a banner outside the stadium that Oakland wouldn’t build for him, but Nevada would.

Niners by 100? Sounds about right.

Although Raiders coach Josh McDaniels called it a chance to evaluate fourth-year backup Jarrett Stidham — baby, please — it’s not that.

The organization has clearly decided to waive Carr after the season and doesn’t want to risk the three-time Pro Bowl selection suffering an injury that could leave Davis on the hook for more than $40 million in future salary. The Raiders will carry a relatively low “dead” salary number of $5.625 million if Carr is cut or traded within three days of Super Bowl LVII.

It’s certainly plausible that McDaniels, whose second shot at an NFL coaching gig hasn’t gone well, wants another quarterback to lead his offense in 2023 and beyond.

For Nevada Mark, there are no shades of gray. According to sources familiar with the owner’s mindset, Davis has been intent on parting ways with Carr for years.

In that sense, Wednesday’s announcement is — wait for it — a dream come true.

Many Las Vegas players, however, may rightly see Carr’s benching as the continuation of an extended nightmare.

A year ago, the Raiders were one of the best stories in sports, having endured and battled the Gruden scandal and a fatal car accident that prompted four felony charges against 2020 first-round draft pick Henry Ruggs III to make the postseason impossible. run.

After a first-round playoff loss to the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals came on the scene, Carr and many other players defended the retention of interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, who — along with coordinators current Greg Olson and Gus Bradley – had led the team through its crises and finished the regular season with a four-game winning streak.

Davis didn’t listen, instead hiring McDaniels, known for two impressive stints as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and a tumultuous two-season run as the Broncos’ head coach. This meant immediate adjustment in many areas, which was McDaniels’ prerogative. Still, even in a fluid quarterback market, the head coach expressed his confidence in Carr.

The franchise reinforced that belief by making a successful trade for Carr’s close friend and former Fresno State teammate, All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, in March. A month later, the Raiders announced they would sign Carr to a three-year, $121.5 million contract extension, though we now know that was a much smaller commitment than originally portrayed.

There was a lot of preseason hype surrounding the Raiders, but like many mainstays of their adopted city, the act quickly wore thin. They’ve blown four double-digit leads in the first half, setting a dubious record in the NFL season. There have been internal complaints about McDaniels’ offense, with players citing a lack of adjustments and improvisation in the game, and murmurs that opposing quarterbacks have been calling the Raiders’ plays before they’re done.

Through it all, Carr hasn’t come close to last season’s success, and his three-interception effort in a 13-10 loss to the Steelers on Christmas Eve turned out to be his final act in Vegas. He will be fine, with plenty of suitors sure to seek his services in February and willing to pay big for the privilege.

Meanwhile, the Raiders, who will play off the bench, mostly to collect their dues, have reason to be bitter. And that’s especially true of their two most prolific skill players.

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