The Raiders and Jimmy Garoppolo are being vastly underestimated ahead of the 2023 season. Why aren’t more pundits optimistic about the black-and-silver’s future?
The Las Vegas Raiders secured their suave, dark-haired quarterback for 2023 — no, not Derek Carr. The more attractive one.
In March, Jimmy Garoppolo signed with the Raiders on a three-year, $67.5 million deal that ranks as one of the cheaper quarterback contracts of this offseason.
After Derek Carr joined New Orleans and with Tom Brady content in retirement, Las Vegas was desperately looking for, at the very least, a stopgap veteran under center. Garoppolo checked most of the boxes and, despite some injury concerns, could serve as the stable fulcrum by which the Raiders’ offense operates next season.
Jimmy G. Davante Adams. Josh Jacobs. The Raiders’ offensive core isn’t particularly impressive compared to their AFC West rivals, but it’s still a solid contending unit.
So why aren’t more people picking Vegas to succeed in 2023?
CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin ranked the most notable quarterback moves this offseason and had Jimmy G’s signing with the Raiders in the middle of the pack at eighth overall:
The price tag for Garoppolo — 14th highest among QBs — isn’t outrageous, provided Las Vegas is getting him at his best.
He’d be an awesome No. 2, especially if Las Vegas drafts a QB high, but the Raiders are paying him to be the guy right now. The saving grace, perhaps, is that the team can easily get out of the deal after 2023, but it just speaks to the unclear direction of the franchise.
Las Vegas Raiders and Jimmy Garoppolo are already seen as AFC West doormats
Benjamin had the Garoppolo signing ranked above only backup quarterback signings around the league like Gardner Minshew, Sam Darnold, and Taylor Heinicke.
During his time on the San Francisco 49ers, Garoppolo had indeed been considered the weaker link surrounded by an elite offensive cast. When he went down due to injury during the season, rookie Brock Purdy stepped into his shoes and pretty easily slid into a starting quarterback role, a testament to Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling and the rest of the 49ers’ squad.
Garoppolo’s flaws won’t be so well-covered on the Raiders, and he’ll have to adjust to a new offensive scheme under Josh McDaniels.
But he will get something he very much needed this offseason: a change of scenery. Ridiculed for his pick-prone plays in recent seasons at San Francisco, Garoppolo can start anew and work on creating chemistry with a talented group of pass-catchers in Vegas that includes Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
Now, can the Raiders go toe-to-toe with the Kansas City Chiefs or Los Angeles Chargers? Probably not.
Outside of the cutthroat gauntlet of the AFC West, however, Jimmy G and the Raiders have a real shot at shocking teams around the league and finding more success in Year 2 of the McDaniels reign. That’s not saying much, but the Garoppolo signing should only buoy the Las Vegas’ hopes in 2023, not sink them.