With Antonio Pierce now serving as [interim] head coach, the Las Vegas Raiders are giving Aidan O’Connell a long look to see if the 25-year-old is their quarterback of the foreseeable future.
However, what will the Silver and Black do if they deem O’Connell unworthy? With Pierce now at the helm, Las Vegas will be competitive; meaning they might not be bad enough for a high draft pick. Such a situation may make Caleb Williams and Drake Maye unattainable.
So, where else could the Raiders look if the draft isn’t an option?
The trade market.
Could the Raiders buy low on Justin Fields?
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine put together a list of possible destinations for quarterbacks that could be on the move this offseason. The Jimmy Garoppolo experiment has failed, and with Las Vegas firing Josh McDaniels, “Jimmy G” might be one-and-done.
Aidan O’Connell has these next few games to close out the 2023 NFL season and convince coaches he’s capable of being the team’s starter. Nonetheless, might the Raiders want to buy low on a former first-round pick?
Ballentine believes Justin Fields could use a fresh start elsewhere if the Chicago Bears find themselves in a position to draft a quarterback. Furthermore, the Bears must decide this offseason whether they want to pick up his fifth-year option.
“Any team who is on the hunt for a franchise quarterback but won’t have the draft pick to take the top-two options could be in play [for Fields],” Ballentine wrote.
“The Raiders made a move for Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, but with Josh McDaniels out of the building, they are a good candidate. Fields would give them a dynamic, promising quarterback for a new head coach to build around.”
What could Fields command in a trade?
If Chicago decides it’s time for a new signal caller, they will look for a trade partner. Could Pierce – or whoever is in charge of coaching the team – feel they can get the best out of Fields? The follow-up to that would be what it would cost the Raiders.
Looking at recent first-round quarterback trades, such as the Cleveland Browns moving on from Baker Mayfield, might paint a picture of what Las Vegas could pay for Fields. In 2022, the Browns agreed to trade Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a 2024 conditional draft pick.
A conditional draft pick won’t be a high price if the Raiders believe Fields is a franchise quarterback. It will be up to Las Vegas to put the Ohio State product in a position to succeed.
Nonetheless, the Raiders would have plenty of targets for Fields, such as Michael Mayer and Jakobi Meyers. Davante Adams will give Fields the premier wideout he hasn’t had before. There’s also the possibility that Hunter Renfrow will be around next season.
Whether it’s the Bears quarterback or someone else, finding a signal caller could be at the top of the Raider’ to do list this offseason. It’ll all depend on how Aidan O’Connell finishes his rookie campaign.
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images