Raiders Could Cut $72 Million Star Without Any Penalty: Report

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

Even after the Las Vegas Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year contract in free agency, there were still questions about the team’s quarterback position. There was speculation that the team would use a first-round pick on a quarterback as an eventual replacement for the veteran or insurance in case he got hurt. The Raiders decided against adding a quarterback early in the draft, which was a sign that they were confident in what Garoppolo can bring to the team.

However, some new information makes the team’s decision highly questionable. Head coach Josh McDaniels recently revealed that Garoppolo isn’t healthy enough to participate in organized team activities and likely won’t be ready until training camp. This led The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed to uncover that the quarterback underwent foot surgery following a failed physical with the Raiders. That didn’t stop the team from signing him but the two sides did re-work his contract.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk obtained Garoppolo’s contract and found that there was a clause called Addendum G, which is a waiver and release. There are many things included in Addendum G but the most notable is that the Raiders can terminate the contract without any penalty until he is able to pass a physical.

What Does This Mean for Jimmy Garoppolo?

Garoppolo is betting on himself right now. He has dealt with many injuries throughout his career so it’s not a surprise he’s hurt but it is a surprise that the Raiders would rely on him to be the starting quarterback considering the situation. Garoppolo has every incentive to get healthy. He’ll potentially lose $72.75 million if he doesn’t pass a physical.

If things with the Raiders fall apart, it’s hard to see another team giving him a big contract. A lot is riding on Garoppolo’s foot getting healthy. He likely believes everything will be OK, which is why he agreed to sign Addendum G. That said, it’s a major risk for him to take as there are complications with injuries all the time. He essentially doesn’t have a contract to protect him right now. The Raiders don’t want to have to tear up his contract before he plays a game and the season will quickly get off the rails if he can’t play. Both sides need Garoppolo’s foot to heal quickly.

Why Didn’t Raiders Do More to Address QB?

Many fans were already lukewarm on the Garoppolo signing so this injury news isn’t what they wanted to hear. Brian Hoyer, rookie fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell and second-year player Chase Garbers are the other quarterbacks on the roster. O’Connell and Garbers have never played an NFL game while Hoyer hasn’t won a start since 2016. Things could get really ugly if any of those three have to start games early in the season.

The Raiders could’ve traded up and tried to get Anthony Richardson, Will Levis or Hendon Hooker at some point in the draft but decided against it. Either they are very high on O’Connell or aren’t worried about Garoppolo’s injury. The latter is probably true. If the Raiders weren’t confident that Garoppolo would be fine, they would’ve gone in another direction. While the injury news is concerning, it’s likely nothing too serious but the team is protected if there should be a setback.