The Silver and Black have been going through some seismic shifts recently, and the latest tremor just sent shockwaves through the quarterback room. Jimmy Garoppolo, brought in amid a flurry of high expectations, is now riding the bench in Las Vegas.
Overnight the Raiders parted ways with their GM, Head Coach, and Offensive Coordinator and now have made a change at the QB position. It was just yesterday that I had to write an article on how much they are wasting the talents of star WR Davante Adams, but I don’t think anyone saw these wholesale changes coming so quickly.
Aidan O’Connell is the name on everyone’s lips as he steps into the QB1 role. The 25-year-old rookie, a fourth-round draft pick, is set to take the reins and lead the charge for the Raiders.
A Bad 2023 For Jimmy G
It’s no secret that 2023 hasn’t been the year Jimmy G was hoping for. After signing a substantial three-year, $67.5 million contract earlier in the year, he’s struggled to find his rhythm. With just 1,205 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and the dubious honor of leading the league in interceptions with nine, it’s been a tough go.Not to mention the sideline theatrics. This week, star receiver Davante Adams took out his frustration by slamming his helmet onto the ground. A couple of missed opportunities for a touchdown and being held to just one catch seemed to be the final straw.
we could have looked back at a MNF game where Davante Adams had a 98-yard TD and a 60-yard TD
but we got this from Jimmy G instead 💀💀 pic.twitter.com/iQLBx3TVDj
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 31, 2023
The Discussion For QB Change Has Been Ongoing
The decision to put O’Connell at the helm isn’t just about performance; it’s also about changing the atmosphere. There’s no baggage with the rookie, and it’s time for a fresh start. O’Connell isn’t entirely untested. He made a start earlier in the season against the Los Angeles Chargers, showing flashes of his potential. Now he’s getting the keys to the offense. In that start, O’Conell finished 24/39 for 238 yards and an pick. He also come in for a banged up Jimmy on October 22nd where he looked solid, finishing 10/13 for 75 yards a TD and an INT.
The coaching staff has been wrestling with this decision for a while. There was a difference of opinion, with some pushing for O’Connell to get his shot even when Garoppolo was out due to injury. It was a tough call, considering O’Connell’s relative inexperience, but sometimes, a new face and a fresh perspective can be just what a team needs. If this is it for Jimmy in Vegas, The Raiders are already on the hook for a fully-guaranteed, $11.25 million roster bonus due to Jimmy Garoppolo in March. His $11.25 million base for 2024, however, is only guaranteed for injury. Which means the Raiders can get out of that unless he gets hurt.
The Raiders are navigating turbulent waters this season, but maybe O’Connell is the calm in the storm. We’ll soon see if the rookie can breathe new life into this franchise and give fans something to cheer about.