Jimmy Garoppolo is headed to the bright lights in the desert. What a Silver and Black splash at the onset of free agency for the Las Vegas Raiders, no?
What? Not ecstatic at the signing?
I get your angst. I really do.
“Jimmy G” is a lot of things, and “hurt” and “winner” are first and foremost when it comes to the new Raiders quarterback.
But have you considered this: What if the readily available access to ladies of the night in Sin City is the cure-all and keeps Jimmy Garoppolo healthy all season? That’s an oxymoron, I know, but what if?
All jest aside, Las Vegas did fill the need for a starting quarterback. And while the selected signal caller isn’t sexy (well, I mean, my San Francisco 49ers fans in my family call him Jimmy Guapolo, which in Tagalog means handsome, similar in Spanish), Garoppolo brings a steady hand that’s keen on Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels’ offensive philosophy.
And what a built-in joke that is right there: Offensive philosophy. There’s undoubtedly going to be some folks who don’t care too much for Garoppolo’s past relationships — he was dubbed “Porn Star Jimmy” by one Stephen A. Smith — but isn’t Sin City the apt landing spot for Jimmy G?
Mark my words, Jimmy G is about to secure a spot as a legend in Raiders history.
Man about to be the first Raider to get a marketing deal with the Bunny Ranch. #Legend
— James (@OaklandAboveAll) March 13, 2023
OK, for real now. Jokes are done.
While many view Garoppolo as a lateral move from Derek Carr, it isn’t. Not in the financial sense, at least. The Raiders newly minted quarterback arrives on a very fiscally responsible contract, one that Ziegler deserves commendation for. When the news broke of the Raiders and Garoppolo agreeing to a deal, the numbers were: three years, $72.75 million, including a $11.25 million signing bonus, $45 million guaranteed, and an annual average of $24.25 million. But looking at the breakdown at either Over The Cap or Spotrac, you’ll see it’s essentially a two-year pact that’s got a high-value third and final year.
I say two-year because while there is a one-year out after the 2023 season, the Raiders would incur a steep $18.75 million dead money cap hit if Garoppolo were axed in 2024. However, that dead money figure drops to $3.75 million after the 2025 season.
The Raiders got themselves a good deal with this Jimmy Garoppolo deal…
From a cost-performance ratio perspective, taking Garoppolo on what he agreed to with the Raiders is the definition of fiduciary duty. Instead of paying the rising “going rate” cost for a starting quarterback, Ziegler got a starter at a below-market-value cost. Outside of quarterbacks’ high-draft pick rookie deals, Garoppolo is the cheapest in terms of his annual average at $24.25 million. The next cost-effective starter is the Seattle Seahawks’ Geno Smith, who nets an average annual salary of $25 million on his new deal.
Jimmy G’s deal with the Raiders:
Signing bonus: $11.25M
2023 salary: $11.25M
2024 salary: $11.25M
2025 salary: $22.5M
2024 roster bonus: $11.25M
Annual per-game bonuses: up to $1.53M
Annual workout bonus: $220K
Annual incentives: up to $1.5M
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 13, 2023
Now, in terms of availability, Carr has Garoppolo beat—in spades. And that’s the main sticking point with the latter, isn’t it? His high-water mark as a starting quarterback was a 16-game regular season in 2019 with the 49ers (13-3 that year). He then started 15 of 15 games in 2021 for San Francisco (9-6). He was essentially discarded, then brought back to keep the Niners alive in 2022, starting 10 of the 11 games he played (7-3).
When he does suit up and play, he tends to win. His overall 40-17 win-loss record across nine seasons is a testament to that. But for a Raiders team looking to rebound from a dismal 6-11 season in 2022, they need Jimmy G for all 17.
Can he play deep into the season like he would a lady of the… oh, that’s right. The jokes ended way earlier. Forgive me.
*Top Photo: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports