There appears to be momentum building around the idea of the Las Vegas Raiders trading for Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Star wide receiver Davante Adams has already revealed that he’s recruiting Rodgers to the team and fans were pestering the quarterback at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament over the weekend. While it makes a lot of sense for the Raiders to want the quarterback, they’d have to give up a lot in a trade to get him.
Head coach Josh McDaniels may prefer the idea of being able to sign a quarterback outright in free agency. Tom Brady was the obvious fit due to his ties to McDaniels but he recently said goodbye to the NFL for good. The next most logical free agent fit is San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com believes the Raiders would be wise to “give Jimmy G a shot” over trading for Rodgers:
I’ve always believed that Jimmy Garoppolo would have had a better career in New England than he did in San Francisco. Garoppolo’s best, most instinctive play came when he was in Josh McDaniels’ system. He was always a somewhat-awkward fit for Kyle Shanahan’s scheme and shouldn’t cost that much for Las Vegas to test drive.
The best part: The Raiders could still draft a quarterback with one of the picks they get when they deal away Derek Carr, who should have more trade value than expected in a seller’s market.
Is Garoppolo the Right Replacement for Carr?
Garoppolo isn’t exactly the most exciting replacement for Carr. They were both drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and neither has solidified themselves as top-10 quarterbacks. Carr is much more durable and has better arm talent. However, Garoppolo is 40-17 in starts over his career while Carr is 63-79.
For whatever reason, Garoppolo has been able to win games at a much higher rate. That likely has to do with the fact that he’s played with much better talent around him throughout his career. He’s not a better quarterback than Carr. The soon-to-be former Raiders quarterback has thrown 217 passing touchdowns to Garoppolo’s 87. Garoppolo is known more as a game manager. That said, he spent four years in McDaniels’ system and should still understand it well. He’s not going to win a team many games but he’s also not going to lose many.
Signing Garoppolo Allows Raiders to Draft QB
If the Raiders want Rodgers, they’ll likely have to give up their No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. That’s a valuable asset to give up for a 39-year-old quarterback who has been flirting with retirement. Signing Garoppolo would give the Raiders much more flexibility. They would be able to keep their top pick and use it to draft a quarterback if they want.
Relying on Garoppolo isn’t a wise idea. He’s been able to play a full season once in his career. He’s never proven he can stay healthy. He’d be able to man the ship and provide serviceable quarterback play to start the season and if he gets hurt, the Raiders could have an exciting rookie waiting in the wings. That could be the best long-term option for the franchise.