Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr headed to the Saints?

Did The Raiders Do Enough At The Quarterback Position?

There are a few weeks left before the beginning of mandatory minicamps. The coaching staff is currently working diligently to ensure success for the upcoming season. Nothing is guaranteed, which is why dedicating time to development is vital. The Las Vegas Raiders are beginning the season with new pieces. Jimmy Garoppolo is the new starting quarterback, but will he perform well enough to carry his team to the playoffs?

Las Vegas Raiders decide to part ways with Derek Carr

The decision to bench their veteran in Week 17 shocked most fans. Playoff implications were still on the line, but Las Vegas’ staff had other things on their minds. It was time for the franchise to move forward, and replacing their nine-year veteran was the first thing on the agenda. Carr was named the franchise quarterback during his rookie season. Hard work took the Raiders from pretenders to contenders, but it became time for Las Vegas to explore other options.

In 2014, Las Vegas finished the regular season with a 3-13 record. The team was young and undisciplined but maintained a desire to improve. Determination from their leader under center helped the franchise improve over time. He learned from his mistakes and became a voice the players in the locker room respected. In 2016, he led the Raiders to a 12-4 record. Derek Carr revitalized the franchise, rescuing them from their horrid past of losing seasons.

Since then, Las Vegas has clinched the playoffs twice. Carr’s development is noteworthy but has not resulted in the success the franchise yearns for. The decision to bench Carr in Week 17 was a polite way of resting him for the highest bidder in the offseason. Josh McDaniels and his staff needed to evaluate other gunslingers on the roster to solidify their decision to seek trades from other franchises.

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After watching Jarrett Stidham audition for the starting job, Las Vegas decided to hit the free agency market. Their third-year backup competed well on the field but did not show enough to earn the starting role. He played five games last season – resulting in four touchdown passes and three interceptions. His 7.9 yards per completion were noteworthy, but Las Vegas needed convincing before heading into the offseason.

It took a few weeks for the Raiders to find their next man under center. On March 13, Las Vegas announced their decision to bring Jimmy Garoppolo aboard. The agreement resulted in a three-year, $72.75M contract according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Signing “Jimmy G” was a smart move by the front office. Garoppolo has the experience Las Vegas is yearning for. His multiple-year stints with the Patriots and 49ers helped the tenth-year gunslinger develop. He’s worked with masterminds such as Bill Belichick and Mike McDaniel and expects to be a great addition to the roster.

The transition from Carr to Garoppolo will require time, but the Raiders are in a great position to begin the new campaign. Their new quarterback is youthful, determined, and focused. His job is simple, help the franchise improve from last season. Las Vegas added new weapons to their offense in the draft that will assist No.10 adjust. Michael Mayer and Tre Tucker are hungry rookies – looking to impact their team.

The Silver and Black should have a successful year at the quarterback position. Confidence in their new acquisition will help the offense create a new identity. If Garoppolo becomes inactive, Brian Hoyer has enough experience to man the helm for a few games. Free agency caused Stidham to sign with the Denver Broncos, forcing the Raiders to sign a backup. Las Vegas should be in a good position to start the next season but will need time to see their investments pay off.

*Top Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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