Las Vegas Raiders News: Aidan O'Connell or Brian Hoyer?

Raiders Notes: How Jimmy Garoppolo Is Handling Benching for Aidan O’Connell

The Las Vegas Raiders are a few weeks into the changes they made following the firings head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. In the shuffle of moves, the team also benched Jimmy Garoppolo for Aidan O’Connell.

“Jimmy G” left the San Francisco 49ers after losing the starting job to Brock Purdy. The move to Las Vegas was supposed to be a new lease on his NFL career. Except, it hasn’t gone that way.

How is Jimmy Garoppolo handling the demotion to backup QB?

Under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, the goal is simply being competitive – and possibly challenging for a playoff spot. Nonetheless, the aspect of Las Vegas’ quarterback change is to see what the Silver and Black have in O’Connell and assess whether or not he’s their quarterback of the future.

O’Connell has a runway to make mistakes, learn from them, and build confidence. Only in this way will the Raiders see if they can create an offense around the rookie for next season. So, how is the veteran Jimmy Garoppolo handling this entire situation? The Athletic’s Vic Tafur provided some insight.

“He’s been a class act,” Tafur wrote. “Pierce also said as much. You can see Garoppolo helping out O’Connell at practice. He hasn’t talked to reporters yet since his demotion, and one of the reasons is the design of the locker room.

“It’s like a long, wide hallway between two rows of lockers, so it’s hard to approach players one-on-one without bringing the folks with TV cameras and others who reach out their tape recorders with you. Jimmy is just trying to go about his business, and there is no compelling reason to make him the center of attention right now.”

Where do the Raiders go next at QB?

If O’Connell isn’t the guy for Las Vegas, they’ll need to find their franchise quarterback this offseason. Garoppolo likely won’t be the team’s answer, either; so where do the Raiders go from there?

The Silver and Black will have a couple of options if they need to address the quarterback position for a second straight offseason. Las Vegas won’t be terrible enough for a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, they can again select a player in the later rounds to see if they struck gold.

Should Las Vegas not want to count on a rookie, there’s the free agency and trade routes. The Silver and Black have been urged to pursue Justin Fields, who could be on his way out of Chicago, as they’ll likely hold the No. 1 overall pick in 2024.

These next few weeks will determine the path the Raiders take this offseason. Finding a quarterback is going to be first on the to-do list of tasks, along with decisions at the head coaching and general manager positions.

*Top Photo: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Image

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