Las Vegas Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo - GM Dave Ziegler

The Raiders Desperately Need A QB Battle In 2023 – But Between Who?

For the first time since 2014, the Las Vegas Raiders will begin training camp without Derek Carr. Las Vegas opted to cut the nine-year veteran and sign former Josh McDaniels protege Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s right, the Silver and Black are now led by a QB who hasn’t taken the field without a quality defense since college.

He’s a signal-caller who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl berth after throwing for a robust 77 yards in the NFC title game (Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards). Garoppolo’s performance in the Super Bowl itself gets fuzzy after the third quarter. Even so, I’m sure it was spectacular.

On top of that, “Jimmy G” is far from the poster boy for health. The Eastern Illinois product has had three of his last regular season campaigns cut short due to injury. In turn, the Niners’ brass traded up in the 2021 draft to select Trey Lance. While Lance has yet to live up to his draft position, San Francisco selected Brock Purdy with the last pick in the 2022 draft. Then, they turned him into what everyone thought was the best-case scenario for Johnny Manziel.

A well-run organization like the Niners was happy to wash their hands of Garoppolo. Las Vegas was more than happy to pay a nice chunk of change for his, uh, “leadership” and “winning pedigree.”

Three QBs In The 2023 NFL Draft Could Beat Out Jimmy Garoppolo As Starter

No, this isn’t hyperbole. Say what you will about DC4—trust me, I know you have and will continue to do so. But he was far more talented than Garoppolo, and he has done far more with less talented rosters as well. The quality of the rosters around Garoppolo has masked his deficiencies and allowed some to peer at his W-L record as a starter and assume he’s a more than capable starter. Yet, let’s call a spade a spade.

The new “Mayor of the Bunny Ranch” is not going to save this Raiders team from itself, nor does he have the intangibles to help boost them above the mean. If Dave Zeigler and Co. are serious about contending this season, they’ll take a shot on one of a trio of quarterbacks; C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson or Hendon Hooker.

Jimmy Garoppolo Doesn’t Fit The AFC West Arms Race

The Los Angeles Chargers have Justin Herbert. The Denver Broncos should see a revitalized Russell Wilson after hiring Sean Payton. Oh, and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.

The Raiders cannot expect to compete with Garoppolo under center unless his contract includes joint custody of Nick Bosa and Fred Warner. Taking a young, exciting name in this year’s draft class like Richardson or Stroud could be the shot in the arm this team needs to go toe-to-toe with the division’s elite.

And if we know one thing, Garoppolo is bound to get hurt and leave the door wide open for a hungry incumbent.

Raiders Rolling A White Flag To The Rest Of The AFC West

The Raiders could always decide they’re fine with allowing Garoppolo to be the unchallenged starter for the 2023 season. This would be seen as a clear sign of surrender for another season in Las Vegas. Maybe the team has its sights set on USC standout Caleb Williams in the 2024 draft and are willing to sell the farm to go up and get him. Make no mistake, while Garoppolo is not going to move the needle, he should still have the team hovering around .500 based on his familiarity with McDaniels’ system and the weapons around him. But why waste another year of Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams?

The signing of “Jimmy G” encapsulated everything wrong with this current Raiders regime so far. Rather than alter their personal standards and New England ties to build something new, they’ve hamstrung the franchise. They’re now in a holding period that’s predicated on a “way” that has never worked without a certain Hoodie anchoring it.

*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel

Outsiders Edge: No Zieg-Zagging, Raiders GM Dave Ziegler More Comfortable Heading Into Second Draft

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