Following Josh McDaniels’ first season with the Raiders, it was clear to everyone in the organization that a parting of ways between the team and Derek Carr was necessary.
Under McDaniels’ leadership, the relationship between Carr and the Raiders had deteriorated beyond repair, a sentiment shared by those within the organization.
At the time, all parties made the proper public statements and continue to do so today.
The day after McDaniels’ dismissal, Carr refrained from criticizing his former head coach, expressing his well wishes for McDaniels and Dave Ziegler’s families.
Despite the pleasant sentiments, it was evident that something changed when McDaniels sent Carr home for the final two games of the regular season.
While the locker room understood the decision to move on from Carr, it still bore consequences.
Rich Bisaccia and Carr led the organization through an extremely challenging season, after the losses of Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs. Carr’s on-field performance suffered, but his leadership in the locker room was undeniably valued.
McDaniels underestimated the leadership Carr brought to the team, sabotaging his own standing in the Raiders’ locker room by handling Carr’s departure in the manner he did.
“McDaniels wanted to move on from quarterback Derek Carr despite the signal caller’s rapport with star receiver Davante Adams. Carr was looked upon as a team leader, and when he left, team chemistry was destroyed,” NFL insider Tony Pauline reported.
Many players in the locker room disapproved of McDaniels’ treatment of Carr’s final weeks with the team, souring the perception of McDaniels and the ‘Patriot Way’ when Carr was sent home.
Another unnecessary slight occurred when McDaniels assigned Aidan O’Connell the No. 4 jersey Carr had worn for nine years.
McDaniels had opportunities in the past 10 months to rebuild trust within the team, but those missed opportunities are stories for another day.
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