Raiders Predicted to Give $81 Million Contract to Veteran QB

josh mcdaniels

Getty Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to release quarterback Derek Carr before February 15, which could pave the way for the Raiders to sign a veteran quarterback.

David Kenyon of Bleacher Report predicted in a February 11 story that Las Vegas would sign Jimmy Garoppolo to three-year deal worth $81 million with $54 million guaranteed. Based on Kenyon’s predictions, that deal would make him the fourth best paid QB among this year’s free agent class, behind the Baltimore Ravens‘ Lamar Jackson, the Seattle Seahawks‘ Geno Smith and the New York Giants‘ Daniel Jones, each of whom he predicts to re-sign with their current teams.

Garoppolo, 31, has spent the last six years with the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Kyle Shanahan has said he doesn’t expect Garoppolo to return to the team, which has third-year QB Trey Lance tabbed as the starter and second-year player Brock Purdy as his backup.

Risk Involved With Signing Jimmy Garoppolo to Big Contract

On paper, Garoppolo makes sense for the Raiders. Before signing with the 49ers, he played three years with the New England Patriots, where Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Garoppolo knows the culture that McDaniels is trying to build and can help implement it. While Garoppolo isn’t as talented as Carr, he’s gone 40-17 in starts over his career. He knows how to win games. McDaniels needs to win games next season or his job could be on the line.

Garoppolo is consistent for what he is and doesn’t have any baggage off the field but he does carry significant risk. He has played a full season just once in his career. He has some of the worst injury luck in the NFL. In 2022, Garoppolo injured his foot and missed the 49ers’ playoff run. He’s healthy now but he’s never proven he can stay that way. In each of the last three seasons, he’s suffered significant injuries. Are the Raiders ready to give $54 million guaranteed to a quarterback who can’t stay on the field? It’s possible but it would be a risky move. McDaniels would be tying his career as a head coach to Garoppolo. If the quarterback can’t stay healthy and the Raiders miss the playoffs again, McDaniels may never be a head coach in the NFL again.

Why Raiders Should Consider a Rookie

Before Brady retired, he made a lot of sense in Las Vegas. He was still playing football at a high level despite his age. He was also a big name who would’ve gotten owner Mark Davis excited. Even if it didn’t work, nobody would’ve blamed McDaniels for trying. Davis likely wouldn’t be overly enthused about a Garoppolo signing and if it fails, the blame would be put on the coach.

Drafting a rookie quarterback with the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft makes sense on a number of levels. The Raiders just watched Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in four years. Justin Herbert is also in the division and Sean Payton was just hired by the Denver Broncos. The Raiders need a great quarterback if they’re going to compete. Now, it’s not that simple to find a great quarterback in the draft but it’s worth a shot. The Raiders might not have a top-10 pick again for a few years.

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