Las Vegas Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo - GM Dave Ziegler

Did Dave Ziegler And The Raiders Fumble The Quarterback Position This Year?

To call this a contentious offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders would be putting it mildly, if we’re being honest. Raider Nation really hasn’t agreed on much since Derek Carr’s release. In many ways, his departure has come to define this current regime led by Dave Ziegler and Co. It was a hard reset, so to speak. While a handful of stars remain, such as Maxx Crosby and Davante Adams, the roster has been mostly purged of anything that resembles the 2021 playoff team. More importantly, the quarterback position could end up derailing the 2023 season for the Raiders. All the while, Carr could lead the New Orleans Saints back to the postseason. Ironic, isn’t it?

With the Carr talk out of the way, you can’t deny that this team could be facing some major issues this season. As most Raiders fans are aware, details surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo’s acquisition came to light. When you cut through all of the lingo, Garoppolo was injured and failed his physical prior to signing on the dotted line. More importantly, Ziegler and the Raiders knew this but pressed forward. Knowing this, Garoppolo’s contract allows for him to be cut if he’s a no-go when the season commences. Essentially, “Jimmy G” could end up never suiting up for the Raiders—what a mess!

Dave Ziegler and the Raiders deserve some credit…

On the surface, you’d be hard-pressed to give Ziegler credit for all of this. However, he did play this one beautifully in terms of not being on the hook if Garoppolo can’t recover on time. Still, Raiders fans can’t take solace in that since it would leave the team incredibly shorthanded. In fact, the Raiders are so shorthanded that they might need to turn to a retired Tom Brady for help. He’s already seen as a 2-1 odds-on favorite to be the starting signal-caller in the event this Garoppolo debacle comes to fruition.

Hedging your bets is always smart in business, especially when talking about NFL contracts. Again, that doesn’t mean the team on the field benefits, at least not in the immediate future. In theory, Brady makes the Raiders competitive offensively. He knows Josh McDaniels’ system; he’d have an impressive receiver group led by Davante Adams and arguably the best running back in the NFL, Josh Jacobs.

Unfortunately, the possibility exists that the rest of the NFL outside of the Raiders might not let a Brady comeback take place. If that happens, what then?

A Depressing Proposition: Brian Hoyer or Aidan O’Connell?

One of the many former Patriots who signed on with the Raiders this offseason was quarterback Brian Hoyer. At 37 years old, sporting a 59.4 career completion percentage, Hoyer doesn’t exactly scream competitive advantage. Sure, he has championship pedigree from his time in New England—a role model and mentor for this team, but not someone you hand the ball to in Week 1.

After Hoyer, things get worse. Through no fault of his own, rookie Aidan O’Connell could see significant snaps during training camp. A fourth-round draft pick, O’Connell has some of the tangibles that McDaniels covets in his style of quarterbacking. That’s certainly true, but there’s no way he’s the “master plan” for 2023. While taking on No.4 drew both ire and praise from Raiders fans recently, O’Connell is far from the quarterback you hand off such a potent offense to. Let’s face it, this plan is a clear downgrade from Carr—something that Adams is surely aware of no matter how Dave Ziegler and Co. try to spin it. This is a disaster if Garoppolo can’t go—a big “if” considering it’s still May.

Did the Raiders botch things by not drafting a quarterback early?

It’s a moot point by now; the draft is long over. Tyree Wilson could end up wreaking havoc for the Raiders for years to come, but he doesn’t play quarterback. We’ve read the reports as well; it appears that Dave Ziegler and the Raiders tried to be in play for one of the top three quarterbacks this year. However, the asking price was either too much or it just didn’t pan out. There was one saving grace that the Silver and Black could’ve taken on Day 2 of this year’s NFL Draft. Will Levis was available after the first round; maybe he should’ve been the pick?

This is all in retrospect now, obviously, but one can’t help but look back considering the state of the quarterback position right now for the Raiders. By all accounts, Levis is having an impressive offseason for the Tennessee Titans ahead of training camp. Maybe the situation wouldn’t have looked so dire with Hoyer as QB1 and Levis as QB2–by no means were either making the Raiders Super Bowl competitors, but at least you wouldn’t have prevailing talk of “tanking” or going after Caleb Williams in 2024.

There’s still plenty of time for Garoppolo to get healthy; that’s something that needs to be stressed. Still, if he can’t go, it could be a long season in Sin City.

Oh, one more thing: the Raiders still have Chase Garbers on the team. So, there’s that. Perhaps not all is lost yet.

*Top Photo: Official Raiders YouTube Channel

DeAndre Hopkins Landing In The AFC West? Dave Ziegler, Your Move—Plus Kolton Miller Gets Love

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 6,097 other subscribers