Josh McDaniels last month said the Raiders’ goal was to roster a quarterback who will be with the organization for “a long time,” perhaps suggesting Las Vegas will target an early-round signal-caller in this year’s draft.
The Silver and Black very well might spend a Day 1 or Day 2 pick on a QB in late April, but their next starter won’t be with the organization for the long haul.
The Raiders on Monday reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s set to backfill nine-year Las Vegas starter Derek Carr. Garoppolo’s new contract reportedly is worth $67.5 million, with $34 million guaranteed, a nice chunk of change for a player with a concerning injury track record.
Garoppolo previously played on better teams and on bigger stages than Carr, who found a new home in New Orleans after his Las Vegas exit. But purely in terms of talent, the two veterans are on a level playing field and it wouldn’t be asinine to argue Carr actually is better than Garoppolo.
So, why were the Raiders so eager to move off Carr, only to bring in a similarly talented QB? NFL insider Albert Breer broke it down in a Sports Illustrated column published Monday.
“The Raiders, for better or worse, didn’t see Carr as a culture fit after having him in the building for a year, and they couldn’t get that wrong again at that position,” Breer wrote. “They aren’t guessing on whether Garoppolo will be better in that regard. They know.
“The other thing is that McDaniels really does believe in Garoppolo. He wasn’t surprised in the least at the quarterback flourishing at the end of his first season in San Francisco, and always thought there was a little more there that the injuries wound up concealing. So now, the 31-year-old essentially takes the spot Carr held — playing the role that Alex Smith did in Kansas City as the Chiefs waited for Patrick Mahomes to come along — and the Raiders brass can continue to build the roster up elsewhere.”
It sounds like McDaniels wants a good soldier behind center, a role Garoppolo is familiar with from uncomfortable situations in New England and San Francisco. Perhaps that stems from the Raiders coach wanting total control after reportedly being “bullied” by Tom Brady in Foxboro.
Regardless, a better culture fit at quarterback might not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Garoppolo will need all the luck he can get in an AFC West division that features two 2022 playoff teams — including the reigning Super Bowl champs — as well as a potentially vastly improved Denver Broncos group.