Insider Floats Possibility of Raiders Trading for $15.6 Million Pro Bowl QB

josh mcdaniels mark davis

Getty Josh McDaniels with Mark Davis.

With the recent signing of Brian Hoyer, it would appear the Las Vegas Raiders are done adding veteran quarterbacks for now. Jimmy Garoppolo is the starter and Hoyer will either be the backup or the third string behind a rookie backup. However, the Raiders may still have other plans.

Head coach Josh McDaniels was a big fan of quarterback Mac Jones when they were both with the New England Patriots. The 2021 first-round pick was a Pro Bowler under the coach and looked like an emerging star at quarterback. Things went downhill in 2022 with McDaniels in Las Vegas and the Patriots not adding a true offensive coordinator. Jones wasn’t shy about his displeasure with how the team went about things and that didn’t sit well with head coach Bill Belichick.

There was chatter about the Raiders possibly exploring a Jones trade this offseason but that didn’t end up happening. Even though Las Vegas signed Garoppolo this offseason, some believe that the team could still be a landing spot for Jones. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Patriots have been shopping Jones and the Raiders are among the teams that could be a destination.

“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Belichick has shopped Jones to multiple teams during the 2023 offseason,” Florio wrote.

“The full list of potential destinations isn’t known. The teams mentioned as potential destinations were the Raiders, Texans, Buccaneers, and Commanders.”

Raiders Are Team to ‘Keep Watching’

The Raiders don’t make a ton of sense for Jones. He’s a starting quarterback and his athletic profile is very similar to Garoppolo’s. Unless the asking price is surprisingly low, it doesn’t make much sense for Las Vegas to take a look at Jones. Despite that, Florio specifically singled out the Raiders as the team to watch.

“The Raiders are the ones to keep watching,” Florio wrote. “Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract lands in the low-end of middle class for starters, and Jones has two years left under a slotted rookie deal, before his fifth-year option would apply.”

What if Raiders Traded for Jones?

The Patriots trading Jones seems highly unlikely. Mark Daniels of MassLive reported that he spoke to three sources who haven’t heard anything about New England shopping the quarterback. He also reported the Patriots and Raiders have never had trade talks regarding Jones. Perhaps Florio has some bad intel but anything is possible.

If the Raiders did trade for Jones, it wouldn’t be a huge salary cap issue. He’s still on his $15.6 million rookie deal. He’s set to only have a $4.25 million cap hit in 2023. That’d be easy for the Raiders to fit in. The bigger problem is the quarterback controversy it would create. Garoppolo and Jones are both starting quarterbacks. They’ve both had success with McDaniels coaching them. Garoppolo is making more money so he’d likely get the nod over Jones. Having a capable backup might be good considering Garoppolo’s injury history. If Jones is available for a low draft pick, then it’d make sense to have him come in as a backup. That said, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Patriots to trade him away from a low draft pick. The most likely outcome is that Jones gets another year to try and turn things around in New England. His leash won’t be very long though.

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