It’s a new era for the Las Vegas Raiders with Jimmy Garoppolo replacing Derek Carr as the starting quarterback. The team didn’t have the cleanest breakup with Carr but he’s with the New Orleans Saints now and is happy for the fresh start. From the Raiders’ perspective, they now have a quarterback who is a better fit under head coach Josh McDaniels.
Carr came off of a very strong 2021 season where he led the team to the playoffs. New general manager Dave Ziegler decided to give him a three-year contract extension in the offseason and it was thought he’d be the quarterback for a long time. However, he never seemed to be comfortable in McDaniels’ offense and had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2022, which led to his eventual benching and then his release. Carr’s family has been vocal about defending the quarterback and taking shots at the Raiders.
Derek Carr’s older brother David surprisingly came out after the news of the Garoppolo signing and said he believes that it actually is a good fit.
“I think the issue with Derek and Josh was that there was always a bit of head-butting going on because they were different styles,” Carr said on a March 13 episode of “NFL Total Access.” “So you bring in Jimmy, who is going to run Josh’s system, and he’s done it before, he has had success there. So this makes a lot of sense. Even at the $20 million or so mark, it makes a lot of sense because you have pieces that you have to fill.”
Carr Says Tom Brady ‘Ran the Show’ With McDaniels
Under former head coach Jon Gruden, Carr had a lot of control over the offense. That was even more so the case when the coach resigned and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia took over in 2021. Carr liked to exercise a level of creativity at the line of scrimmage but not every coach wants their quarterback to operate that way. McDaniels is a coach who just wants his quarterbacks to roll with the play that he called, according to David Carr.
The former Houston Texans quarterback offered some insight into how McDaniels operates.
“I would say, what happened is in New England, Tom Brady ran the show, so he was able to bully Josh and he would just say, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’” Carr said on the March 8 episode of the “Harvester Sports” podcast. “And if Josh said no, [Brady] would go to Bill [Belichick]’s office, and if Bill said no, he would go to [team owner] Robert Kraft.
“‘Trade Jimmy Garoppolo, I don’t need him in here causing a problem.’ Jimmy Garoppolo gets traded, right?”
Did Raiders Make Right Move by Adding Garoppolo?
Garoppolo to Las Vegas makes a lot of sense. He’s familiar with the system and his personality and brand fit in well with the city. However, he’s clearly not the long-term option at quarterback. Garoppolo’s lack of athletic upside and injury history will make it difficult to rely on him. There’s a strong chance that the Raiders draft a rookie this year and start grooming him to eventually replace Garoppolo.
Adding the veteran is a smart move in the short term but the team still needs a long-term plan at quarterback. It will be much clearer what the team’s plans are once the NFL Draft takes place in April.