The Las Vegas Raiders' season continues to circle down the drain. It all started so swimmingly. The Raiders began the campaign in ideal fashion, winning their first three contests to start a perfect 3-0. There's been no shortage of adversity since then.
A mid-season controversial coaching change saw assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia replace Jon Gruden. Sophomore first-round pick Henry Ruggs III was released following his involvement in a tragic DUI accident, and fellow 2020 first-round selection Damon Arnette now finds himself on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad following a slew of violent videos released via his social media. The Raiders have not been able to overcome these issues. They've disappointingly lost five of their last six and now find themselves at a meddling 6-7. Five-Thirty-Eight places their current playoff chances at a lowly 5%.
Mike Mayock's Raiders are inching dangerously close toward using the remainder of this season as a trial-and-error session to help determine the future outcomes of the questions that surround their franchise. According to CBS Sports Radio, the Raiders are allegedly pondering benching Carr in favor of Marcus Mariota down the stretch.
It's unlikely that Mariota would be more effective under center than Carr has been, but the Raiders have little to lose at this point by providing Mariota an opportunity to prove himself worthy of a contract extension ahead of the 2022 campaign. For years, rumors have swirled regarding the Raiders' interest in replacing Carr in an attempt to upgrade the quarterback position. With Carr's five-year extension now in the back end of its lifespan, the Raiders could potentially move on from him this coming offseason with no dead cap money hit for 2022.
Carr has performed rather admirably throughout 2021, but a massive decision regarding his future looms large. There is plenty of blame to go around for Vegas' current losing streak. The aforementioned incidents have left a profound impact on the culture and personnel. An injury to mega-star tight end Darren Waller has stripped Carr of his most reliable target and it’s impacted his overall passing efficiency. In Vegas' last six contests, five of which were defeats, Carr has completed 159-of-230 passing attempts (69% completion percentage) for 1,657 yards (276 per game), six touchdowns, and five interceptions. The numbers have been rather meddling and have raised questions around Carr's ability to drag the Raiders to the postseason, something he's accomplished just once in seven previous attempts.
We are not advocating that Carr's play is worthy of benching, but the thought process that could lead Mayock and Bisaccia to audition Mariota in meaningless games has merit. A quarterback change may be coming and finding out whether or not Mariota could be that player is an exercise worth partaking in. Whether it's Mayock or somebody else sitting in the general manager chair for 2022, Carr's future hangs in the balance. A change of scenery may be coming. Should Carr find himself on the open market or available via trade, a plethora of franchises would likely have great interest in acquiring the former second-round pick out of Fresno State. This intriguing storyline is far from finished.