Is Jimmy G the Answer for the Las Vegas Raiders?
By Ha Kung Wong
At first blush, the Las Vegas Raiders signing Jimmy Garoppolo, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, to a three-year, $72.75 million contract, which includes $34 million guaranteed, is a tad bit surprising. That being said, although questions remain regarding what the future holds for the Raiders behind center, Garoppolo may be an important stop gap solution with upside.
"I don't know what to say to that." 💀 pic.twitter.com/qN9JDza6jq
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) March 21, 2023
Garoppolo has had an up and down career in the NFL. After being drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, he spent three and a half seasons as Tom Brady‘s backup. Garoppolo was then traded to the 49ers in 2017 and led the team to the Super Bowl in 2019, although they ultimately lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite his success with the 49ers, Garoppolo has faced criticism throughout his career for his inconsistent play and injury history, which includes a broken foot that derailed the end of a 2023 season where he had stepped in during Game 2 following Trey Lance‘s injury. However, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, and Jimmy G’s former offensive coordinator in New England, seems to have faith in the quarterback, as evidenced by the team’s decision to sign him to a long-term contract.
The signing of Garoppolo is a significant move for the Raiders, who have struggled to find consistent quarterback play over the past season, particularly after benching and subsequently releasing Derek Carr. With Garoppolo at the helm, the team will have a proven winner under center who has shown the ability to lead a team to the Super Bowl. More importantly, the Raiders now have a veteran in the QB room that can help with a rookie QB if the Raiders should decide to draft one at 7th overall in April.
Of course, there are still questions about Garoppolo’s ability to stay healthy and perform at a high level on a consistent basis. The Raiders will need him to stay on the field and play at a high level if they hope to compete in a tough AFC West division, and for that to happen, they need to upgrade their ailing offensive line either through the draft or free agency.
One thing is certain, however: the signing of Garoppolo has made the Raiders a team to watch in the upcoming NFL season. With a talented quarterback and a proven supporting cast, including Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, the team has the potential to make a playoff run. But worst-case scenario, assuming the Raiders draft a QB as I think they should, Jimmy G at least provides time for a rookie to develop over the upcoming season.
Only time will tell if the signing of Jimmy Garoppolo will pay off for the Las Vegas Raiders, but one thing is for sure: the Raiders got a lot more interesting.