Josh McDaniels is gone and Aidan O’Connell will be the starting quarterback. But there’s one more thing to complete the trifecta for impatient Silver-and-Black Nation fans: waiving Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Now that doesn’t seem easy considering Garoppolo was granted one Three-year, $72.5 million contract by McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler this spring. But the structure of Garoppolo’s contract — which includes an $11.25 million roster bonus if he’s still with the team in early March — gives the Raiders and interim GM Champ Kelly an incentive to make a drastic move sooner rather than later Garoppolo to undertake.
And Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the Raiders will do just that.
“I think what’s going to happen with Garoppolo — I don’t think they’re going to bench him to put him in bubble wrap like they did with Derek Carr at the end of last year, but that’s part of it.” Florio said on his “PFT Live” podcast On november 1st.
“He has $11.25 million in injury guarantees, which will become fully guaranteed in March. So keep him healthy, don’t let him get hurt, you don’t owe him the money if you cut him. I think if he can pass the exam now, I would cut him.”
Raiders could save cap room by waiving Jimmy Garoppolo now
The Raiders would still have to pay the remainder of Garoppolo’s salary, plus a portion of what he is due next season after restructuring his contract. But after that, the Raiders would be free and clear. Getting rid of him now also guarantees that he will not be injured in any way before the end of the season and ensures that the team benefits from the $11.25 million bonus.
All the Raiders need to do is keep Garoppolo healthy and release him before March to save the money. Benching him for O’Connell is a good start, but he could still suffer a freak injury in practice that would tie the team to him. That’s why Florio is urging the Raiders to cut Jimmy Garoppolo now.
“Let him have his salary for the rest of the year,” Florio said. “You avoid the $11.25 million, you avoid something crazy happening — an accident in the weight room, falls off the toilet in the bathroom at the team facility. I’m kidding, but any injury that prevents him from passing the physical before the $11.25 million is guaranteed is their responsibility. Bring him out. Goodbye, see you later, Jimmy G., carry on.”
Disappointing year for the Raiders QB
In fact, it’s been a disappointing and frustrating season for the Raiders’ new man, who was brought in in March to replace the now departed Derek Carr. The team also benched Carr at the end of last season to keep him healthy before waiving him over the winter. That saved them Carr’s squad bonus.
But the Garoppolo’s Raiders season numbers were downright sad. He has thrown for 1,205 yards and completed 65.5% of his passes, but he leads the NFL with 9 interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 78.1, the lowest of his career. Pro Football Focus graded Garoppolo at 65.6 22nd of 36 quarterbacks in the NFL.
As Florio said, Garoppolo hasn’t been particularly inspiring this season with the Raiders. Or even in his career.
“What did Garoppolo ever do to deserve it?” Florio asked. “Is there a game where he ever made that big throw at the big point? Where do you say, ‘Man, that Jimmy Garoppolo, wow, he was there tonight’?”
Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter who covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has been writing for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of NBA reporting experience, including 17 years as a senior NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of seven nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley Were Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney
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