Raiders Rumors: Dave Ziegler Wanted To Trade Up For C.J. Stroud, Denied By Josh McDaniels
CJ Stroud, NFL Draft, Raiders
Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) passes the ball against during the third quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders have huge decisions ahead of them in the offseason as they need to find a new general manager and head coach.

The Raiders made the decision to fire Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels earlier during the 2023 season after the pair failed to produce many wins. Ziegler and McDaniels were brought in to replicate “The Patriot Way” in Las Vegas, but that experiment flamed out.

There were several missteps both Ziegler and McDaniels made during their tenure, but perhaps the most egregious ones related to the quarterback position. The two agreed to sign Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency to replace Derek Carr, but the veteran was benched shortly after they were let go.

It seems that Ziegler’s original plan was to trade up for C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft, but was reportedly blocked by McDaniels via Hondo Carpenter of Sports Illustrated:

“Entering the draft, McDaniels already had overruled Ziegler at the quarterback position,” Carpenter wrote. “Ziegler had no faith that Garoppolo could stay healthy and felt he wasn’t the quarterback to take the team into the future.

“Evaluating all of the quarterbacks in the draft, Ziegler loved Stroud.

“‘Dave felt he was a generational talent, and Kelly loved him. Z had done his research,’ a source said. ‘He knew the cost to move up to No. 1 and even No. 2.

‘He felt the cost was cheap, and he was willing to do almost anything that didn’t include Maxx Crosby. He and Josh agreed that the price of No. 1 was too high, but Z wanted to move up to No. 2 and grab Stroud. He could have made the deal. He also knew Stroud would allow McDaniels to show the fans and the owner that an identity would be established.

‘Josh was willing to move up for Bryce Young, but as expected, he went No. 1, and Stroud to the Raiders had long been dead.’”

The Bryce Young versus Stroud debate was settled early on this season as the latter has turned the Houston Texans into a legitimate playoff contender during his rookie season. There’s no doubt that the Raiders would be in a much better spot had they pulled the trigger on a deal to take Stroud, so this report will surely sting for fans.

However, Las Vegas can’t dwell on this for too long as they still have several games left in the regular season. Aidan O’Connell has shown flashes, but the team will definitely be in the market for a quarterback upgrade in the offseason.