The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t come out and made their plans to replace Derek Carr public information but all signs pointed to them going after Tom Brady. The future Hall of Fame quarterback spent nearly two decades working with Josh McDaniels in New England and would’ve been a seamless fit in Las Vegas. However, the quarterback revealed to the world on Wednesday that he’s officially retiring from the NFL and he won’t be coming back this time.
Now that Brady is off the table, the Raiders have to shift their focus. The only other realistic option who is a clear upgrade over Carr is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. General manager Dave Ziegler may not be too interested in having to trade assets to land a 39-year-old quarterback. The most logical option in free agency is San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
He played under McDaniels for four years in New England. Sports Illustrated’s Hondo Carpenter had previously reported that there was a 100% chance Brady would land with the Raiders if that’s what he wanted. With Brady no longer an option, Carpenter believes that there’s a 45% chance that Garoppolo is the Raiders’ next quarterback. The next highest odds are either Rodgers or a rookie, which he both has at 25% each.
McDaniels Prefers Veteran Over Rookie?
The decision to move on from Carr is looking a bit more questionable in hindsight. It made sense if the Raiders thought they were going to get Brady but replacing him with Garoppolo isn’t much of an upgrade. In fact, it’s likely a downgrade considering his history with injuries. The Raiders have the No. 7 pick in the draft and the hope is that they don’t have to pick in the top 10 again for a long time. Drafting a quarterback this year makes a lot of sense with intriguing prospects like Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
However, McDaniels may not be interested in working with a rookie. According to Carpenter, the coach wants somebody more proven.
“According to multiple people around the NFL, Josh McDaniels has made it clear that he wants a proven veteran next season,” Carpenter wrote.
“If the Raiders go with a rookie, that is a clear indication that they are in a rebuilding situation, something that Mark Davis, Dave Ziegler, and McDaniels have vehemently denied.”
Why Raiders Should Go After a Rookie QB
Garoppolo is a good fit with the Raiders and would be a fine replacement for Carr but he’s not the most exciting quarterback. Rodgers is an exciting quarterback but he could retire any year at this point. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, they play in the AFC West. Justin Herbert with the Los Angeles Chargers is 24 and Patrick Mahomes with the Kanas City Chiefs is 27. The Denver Broncos just hired Sean Payton, which should help Russell Wilson improve his play after a disastrous season.
There’s a chance the Raiders would have the worst quarterback in the division if they went with Garoppolo. Going with a rookie quarterback is risky. Las Vegas can’t expect to win a ton of games with such a disadvantage at the game’s most important position. A rookie would give the team hope and allow them to spend more money on other positions. There’s a chance Stroud or Richardson end up being busts but they at least have the chance to be at the same level as Mahomes or Herbert. Everybody knows what Garoppolo is at this point in his career.