The Las Vegas Raiders have signed Jimmy Garoppolo in hopes that he’ll be the starting quarterback in 2023. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, he’ll be the guy going forward. However, the team does have to prepare for the fact that Garoppolo has an extensive injury history.
The quarterback has missed a combined 30 games due to injury in his career, including missing several games last season. The Raiders need a solid backup plan and are currently looking at options. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Las Vegas brought in veteran quarterback Blaine Gabbert for a visit.
Gabbert originally came to the NFL as the No. 10 pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft. He was never able to live up to his draft status and hasn’t been a consistent starter since his rookie year. Despite that, Gabbert has been able to maintain a long NFL career as a backup quarterback. He was most recently Tom Brady’s backup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he won a Super Bowl in 2020. Gabbert has thrown just three touchdown passes combined over the past four seasons so he’s not the most exciting quarterback to put in the game if Garoopolo goes down but he’s a savvy veteran with a lot of experience.
Raiders Could Also Add Young QB
While the Raiders gave Garoppolo a three-year deal, they know that he’s not the long-term option at quarterback. He’s a good leader and knows how to run an offense but his limited athleticism and injury history make it difficult to rely on him consistently. The Raiders looked into trading for the No. 1 pick with the Chicago Bears, per The Athletic, so they are clearly interested in adding a young quarterback.
The team is currently picking at No. 7 and may miss out on the top prospects if they don’t trade up. The Raiders could also wait until the second round to address the position. Garoppolo’s contract gives the team some flexibility if they prefer to wait until next year to draft a quarterback but they’d likely hope to get ahead of things. That said, the No. 7 pick is valuable and they can’t afford to waste it on the wrong quarterback.
Garoppolo Says Decision to Join Raiders Was Easy
Garoppolo was ready to move on from the San Francisco 49ers this offseason after it was clear they didn’t want him anymore. He had a number of suitors interested in him this offseason but the Raiders stuck out to him. Garoppolo explained why joining the Raiders was an easy decision for him.
“They were one of the first groups to reach out and just talk to us in the early stages of it, and that kind of got me excited about it,” Garoppolo said, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. “You start talking about the pros and cons of each team, and players and coaches they got. It all makes sense here in Las Vegas, I’d say. Just the further I went into the process, the easier the decision became.”
Garoppolo is joining a team where he has familiarity with the coaching staff so it should be an easy transition for him.