NFL Free Agency is often a gamble and none more so than at the quarterback position. However, after jettisoning Derek Carr, all might be okay in silver and black as the Las Vegas Raiders sign Jimmy Garoppolo.
It does mean the Vegas beat writers are going to have to remember how to spell Garoppolo: one R, double P, one L, and an O following each one of those. Remembering how to spell Jimmy G's name is the most onerous thing about him.
Because honestly there's a lot to like a lot about Garoppolo. Garoppolo is coming off a season with a QB Rating of over 100 and a nifty 4:1 TD-to-INT ratio. He also had two rushing TDs. Garoppolo was certainly one of the reasons why the 49ers were able to secure the number two seed in the NFC this past season.
The Raiders obviously liked what Garoppolo brought to the table, as they signed him to a 3-year $67.5M contract. And given they lost Jarret Stidham hours into free agency, the move makes plenty of sense.
But as we do here at F6P, let's look at the move from a fantasy perspective.
Las Vegas Raiders Sign Jimmy Garoppolo
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Las Vegas Raiders Side
I'm a "bad news first" kind of guy, so let's start with the negative.
Garoppolo has some health questions as he has not played sixteen games in over three years and that was just once, back in 2019. He is coming off a season where he played just 11 games and not a single postseason game. Once Purdy got injured in the NFC Championship game, the situation screamed for Garoppolo. Either he was still too injured or the 49ers just didn't trust him. Either scenario is a bit concerning.
However, when he played 16 games back in 2019, he threw for nearly 4K yards, and had twice as many TDs as he did INTs. Despite that, he's been labeled as a dreaded "game manager" quarterback, but that's not seeing the forest through the trees. The 49ers did not need him to be Joe Montana and it's to Garoppolo's credit that he completed more than two third of his passes last season. And that's not some fluke either, as he has done so each of the last four seasons.
Furthermore, when you have YAC monsters as targets like Garoppolo had with Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, there is no need to often go for the homerun ball. Obviously Jimmy G will not have those players at his disposal. But he will have one Davante Adams, who can make anyone look good.
All Adams did last year was ended up catching 100 passes for 1516 yards and 14 TDs. Do you think that might help raise Garoppolo's stock? Throw in the security blanket of Josh Jacobs,
plus former Pro Bowler Darren Waller. Things are certainly looking up for Jimmy G and coach Josh McDaniels.
Darren Waller has been traded to the New York Football Giants, but the Raiders did sign Jakobi Meyers.
Bill Belichick finding out Josh McDaniels gets to coach Jimmy Garoppolo again: pic.twitter.com/DRwmGdSLBT
— Brendan Glasheen (@BrendanGlasheen) March 13, 2023
Yep, Josh McDaniels reunites with Garoppolo and I suspect you're going to see a much more open Raider offense next season. Garoppolo will not be one of the elite quarterbacks next year, but he does have low end QB1 upside. If he can stay healthy, he should also have a QB2 floor. Garoppolo will be a strong bye-week replacement at worst.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a Jimmy G owner in one of my dynasty leagues. And I am very happy he is leaving San Fran and heading to Sin City.
San Francisco 49ers Side
The 49ers not resigning Garoppolo was about as surprising as History of the World Part 2 not being as good as Mel Brook's classic original. We might not all agree that it's a wise decision, but we all knew Garoppolo was not going to be in 9er gold this upcoming season.
Between the 49ers' obsession with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy showing he is a more than capable backup (cough cough, starter really, cough cough), there was absolutely no secret that the 49ers deemed Jimmy Garoppolo expendable.
Trey Lance might be a great long-term answer, but he's a rather suspect short-term answer. He has just five passing TDs to three INTs, not exactly a drool-worthy ratio. Even his highly hyped rushing ability has not come to any kind of fruition yet. In eight NFL games, he has 235 rushing yards and is averaging just 4.4 yards per rushing attempt. Let's just simply say Michael Vick doesn't need to worry about Lance exceeding his stats anytime soon.
The 49ers might be okay if Brock Purdy was fully healthy. However, Big C--k Brock just underwent surgery recently and is not expected back before mid-September. The 49ers will likely lean on their defense and running game, so they should likely be fine as a team.
However, I am lowering the SF WRs just slightly in my rankings until Lance shows me something or I know Purdy is healthy. The 49ers will likely be okay, but I would limit myself to their offensive pieces for at least the immediate future.
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