For the first time in nearly a decade, the Las Vegas Raiders will have someone not named Derek Carr starting the season as their top quarterback. The franchise moved on from Carr this offseason and agreed to a three-year, $67.5 million deal with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Raiders’ interest in Garoppolo was no surprise as there had been rumors leading up to free agency after the team released Carr. While there were other big names being talked about as well, the Raiders’ brain trust, led by general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels believe Garoppolo is the player who can help lead the Raiders back amongst the NFL’s elite.
As for why they have that belief and what they see in Garoppolo, Ziegler made it clear in an interview with Tashan Reed of The Athletic that Garoppolo has proven himself to be a winner and leader in the NFL:
Simply put: Proven leader, proven winner. I think he’s won 70 percent of his starts. And you can caveat that with the whys and all that stuff but, at the end of the day, he was a part of winning a lot of football games. He’s a proven leader, he’s a proven winner and the next part of that is obviously he’s been steeped in the offensive system that we run. And so, there’s an advantage in that, too. Simply put, that’s what it was.
As Ziegler noted, there is no doubting Garoppolo’s win-loss record as a starter. While some may point to the teams he has had around him in San Francisco as the main reason for his success, the fact remains he was 38-17 as a starter with the 49ers and he had to play his role very well in order for that to happen.
No one will confuse Garoppolo for having the pure talent of players such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen or Joe Burrow, but what he does well is put the ball in the hands of his playmakers on time, giving them the opportunity to do what they do best. And with the Raiders he definitely has some excellent playmakers at his disposal.
Being used in the offense of McDaniels is also another advantage and gives him a leg up on others who would be coming into a completely new system. Garoppolo can simply focus on building that chemistry and getting on the same page as his new Raiders teammates so they can hit the ground running once the season begins.