Raiders May Have Lucked Into ‘Greatest Break in 25 Years’

josh mcdaniels mark davis

Getty Josh McDaniels with Mark Davis.

The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot of work to do if they hope to be a playoff team this season. They were 6-11 last season and haven’t made many substantial roster improvements. There’s also the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is not participating in practice right now due to offseason foot surgery.

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez recently floated the idea that there’s a chance the quarterback never actually takes a snap for the team. The Raiders can cut him without penalty if he’s not able to pass a physical prior to the season. If that were to happen, Brian Hoyer would likely be the team’s starting quarterback. Considering he hasn’t won a start since 2016, the Raiders could be in for a nightmare season.

However, that might not be the worst thing to happen to the team. Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd actually believes losing Garoppolo could be a blessing in disguise. The 2024 NFL Draft class will feature USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in years. Cowherd doesn’t believe the Raiders can realistically compete in the AFC without a special quarterback. Winning seven, eight or nine games won’t put the team in a position to draft him. With Hoyer at quarterback, Las Vegas would be lucky to win three or four games. Cowherd says that’s the best thing that could happen to the Raiders.

“The question becomes for the Raiders: Have they stumbled into quite possibly the greatest break in 25 years in Raiders history?” Cowherd asked.

Raiders Haven’t Caught Many Breaks

Every NFL team catches breaks. The Kansas City Chiefs were lucky that Patrick Mahomes fell to No. 10 in 2017, the Los Angeles Chargers were lucky that the Miami Dolphins picked Tua Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert in 2020 and the Buffalo Bills were mocked by many when they took Josh Allen in 2018. Sometimes the best teams just get lucky.

The Raiders haven’t gotten lucky in a very long time. One of the NFL’s most iconic franchises hasn’t won a playoff game in over two decades. The one time they did have the No. 1 pick, they took JaMarcus Russell, who is considered one of the biggest draft busts in league history. At some point, the Raiders will get lucky and find the next franchise quarterback or franchise-changing player.

It Will Be Difficult for Raiders to Tank

Tanking is easier said than done. Players will never be on board with the idea, especially with so many under one-year contracts. It’s also not so easy to get coaches on board with the idea. Sure, getting Williams sounds great but there’s still no guarantee he’s going to be the next superstar quarterback. The Raiders once thought Russell was the next big thing.

At this point, the team might not have a choice. If Garoppolo can’t play, there aren’t many great quarterback options left. The team could add a solid veteran Teddy Bridgewater but that might be worse than tanking. The Raiders would be better off just sticking with Hoyer and seeing what happens. There is no doubt that three wins and a top-five pick is better than seven wins and a pick outside of the top 10.

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Ernie Cabrera
Ernie Cabrera
3 months ago

Not just w/the Garoppolo issue, I feel that w/so many of the moves that they have made the idea was already on their mind! Williams does seem to have talent that comes around just one in a great moon!

Rebane Eneefeele
Rebane Eneefeele
3 months ago

Average mentality. You play to always win or you don’t play.