The Las Vegas Raiders have been linked to a number of high-profile quarterbacks this offseason but it appears one of the most obvious choices from the get-go will be wearing silver and black. Jimmy Garoppolo spent over three years with Josh McDaniels when they were both with the New England Patriots from 2014 to 2017. They will now be reuniting in Las Vegas.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Raiders and Garoppolo have agreed to a contract.
The Raiders are giving the quarterback a three-year contract worth $67.5 million with $34 million guaranteed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Garoppolo spent the last six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers where he had a lot of success when he was able to stay healthy. He went 38-17 in 55 starts with the team, including an appearance in the Super Bowl. Garoppolo has never been the most athletically gifted quarterback but he’s been able to consistently win games. The $22.5 million-a-year average is a reasonable price for a veteran quarterback and significantly cheaper than the $40.5 million the team was supposed to pay Derek Carr before he was cut. Considering the money the Raiders are paying Garoppolo, there is no doubt he’ll enter 2023 as the starting quarterback.
What This Means for the Draft
After the Raiders missed on Tom Brady and didn’t show interest in an Aaron Rodgers trade, it seemed likely they would use their first-round pick to draft a quarterback. While that’s still a possibility, the Raiders will most likely use their No. 7 pick to add a defensive player. Either that or they will go after a more developmental quarterback prospect like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson. However, the team may not be keen to use such a valuable pick on a player who might not play for a year or two.
They could also add a quarterback later in the draft. Hendon Hooker is a guy who should be available when the team selects in the second round. They could even look later to a quarterback like Jake Haener or Tanner McKee. Regardless, the Raiders would be wise to add a quarterback at some point, especially with Jarrett Stidham headed to the Denver Broncos.
Raiders Need to Add a Capable Backup
Garoppolo is a capable quarterback. He has a career passer rating of 99.6, which is better than Derek Carr’s 91.6. When he’s on the field, he should be able to run McDaniels’ offense effectively. The biggest concern is how often he isn’t on the field. He missed six games last season due to injury, which doesn’t include the three playoff games he missed. He missed two games in 2021 and 10 games in 2020. He’s only been able to make it through a season once fully healthy since becoming a starter.
Garoppolo to the Raiders is a logical fit but there is a serious risk with relying on him to start 17 games and more in the playoffs. Las Vegas needs to ensure it can find a reliable backup quarterback. Whether that will be a veteran or a rookie remains to be seen. Fans aren’t excited about the Garoppolo addition so adding an exciting rookie would keep the fan base engaged. For now, the plan is for Garoppolo to steer the ship for the foreseeable future.