The Las Vegas Raiders’ biggest move made this offseason was signing veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year deal. The former Patriots and 49ers signal caller was familiar with then-head coach Josh McDaniels’ offense, and the belief was that he would be ideal to run the show and get the ball to the Raiders’ playmakers.
The results were not great, however, as Garoppolo struggled to stay on the field and was not effective when he did play. Garoppolo threw for just 1,205 yards in six games with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Following the firing of McDaniels, GM Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi the Raiders turned to rookie QB Aidan O’Connell who looks to be the choice going forward. And according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, it seems very likely the Raiders could move on from Garoppolo this offseason:
How about … very? Benching Garoppolo as part of the reset that saw coach Josh McDaniels, general manager Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi all get fired does not bode well for the QB’s future in Las Vegas. He threw nine interceptions over six games but seven touchdown passes. Then again, it all depends upon how well rookie Aidan O’Connell and the Raiders play in Garoppolo’s absence. Interim coach Antonio Pierce also said we probably haven’t seen the last of Garoppolo this season.
A lot of factors are still at play in determining whether the Raiders need to search for a franchise QB in the 2024 draft, where ESPN’s Football Power Index is projecting them to pick at No. 6.
It was always known that Garoppolo wasn’t the Raiders’ franchise quarterback of the future, and the team still needs to find that long-term signal-caller. Whether that player is O’Connell is unclear, but the Raiders intend to find out over these next few weeks exactly what they have in the rookie from Purdue.
The contract the Raiders gave Garoppolo might make it difficult to simply release after the season, as that could leave a huge dead cap number on their books, and it’s also unlikely a team would want to trade for him at that number. The team could also simply keep him on as the backup to O’Connell or perhaps another player if they were to take a quarterback in the 2024 draft.
That will likely depend on where the Raiders wind up in the standings. There are a lot of intriguing quarterback options in this upcoming draft class, and the Raiders could look to find their next franchise guy while moving on from Garoppolo, who simply hasn’t worked out in silver and black.