NFL Rumors: Raiders HC Josh McDaniels hints at drafting QB despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s $72.5m deal
The Las Vegas Raiders did not shy away from the quarterback market, signing Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year, $72.5 million deal after they released Derek Carr from the team.
One would expect that, with Garoppolo on the fold, Las Vegas would focus on other positions with their seventh overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, especially as this is a strong quarterback class for interested teams. However, even with Garoppolo signed, nothing could be impeditive to drafting a new quarterback if they feel the need to do so, according to head coach Josh McDaniels.
“If we feel like the guy is worth it, we would do it. He’s a really good player at the most important position in football and so … is making your quarterback room stronger or a strength of your team a bad thing? In our opinion, it’s not.”
A reunion between Garoppolo and McDaniels was always one of the likeliest moves of the offseason. The veteran quarterback became a free agent after six years with the San Francisco 49ers while the head coach searched for a new leader following Carr's release.
But his contract gives the Raiders an easy avenue to budge if he does not play up to expectations.
What is Jimmy Garoppolo's contract with the Las Vegas Raiders?
The quarterback is set to earn $72.5 million over three years, but the structure of the deal is the important part. He has just $45 million guaranteed, and most of it relates to his first year. In other words, if he does not play well, he can be cut (or traded) after 2023.
His cap hit for the 2024 season is $28 million and the team will incur an $18.7 million dead cap in case he's released. This amount can be lower if they use a post-June 1 designation.
In other words: you better play well in 2023 or you'll be gone soon.
Even if his average salary is one of the smallest in the league for veteran quarterbacks, the fact that the Raiders can get a guy at the top of the draft who might become their franchise quarterback is an important sign that nothing is a given in this deal. If Las Vegas uses a top-10 pick on a quarterback, Jimmy's tenure will be short-lived.