Why Was Jimmy Garoppolo Suspended and Released? Raiders QB Violates NFL’s PED Policy

Jimmy Garoppolo's time with the Las Vegas Raiders appears to be nearing its conclusion after the veteran QB was suspended on Friday.

The NFL has suspended Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for two games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, as ESPN reported on Friday.

What comes next for Garoppolo, who looked like a release candidate even before today’s news? And how could his upcoming ban affect his contract with the Raiders?

NFL Suspends Las Vegas Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo used a prescribed medication without being given a “therapeutic use exemption,” per ESPN, which also indicated Garoppolo would not appeal his suspension.

The Raiders were already expected to cut Garoppolo before the fifth day of the new NFL league year in mid-March. The 32-year-old would’ve been owed an $11.25 million roster bonus on that date — which Las Vegas had no intention of paying.

But Garoppolo’s ban will likely take even money out of his pocket. Suspensions typically void future guarantees, which should be the case for Jimmy G.

Per Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap, Garoppolo’s suspension will likely void his $11.25 million guaranteed salary for the 2024 season. It’s unfortunate for Garoppolo, but the Raiders probably aren’t too upset by Friday’s events, as it will give the club additional salary cap space this offseason.

When Las Vegas eventually cuts Garoppolo, it will now only be on the hook for $17.068 million in 2024 dead money. Had Garoppolo not been suspended, the Raiders would have absorbed nearly $30 million in dead money after releasing him.

Former Las Vegas decision-makers Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler — who worked with Garoppolo with the New England Patriots — inked Jimmy G. to a three-year, $67.5 million contract heading into last season.

However, the former San Francisco 49ers signal-caller made only six starts while batting multiple injuries. Garoppolo completed 65% of his passes for 1,205 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions. His 33.9 QBR would have ranked third-worst in the NFL — ahead of only Bryce Young and Zach Wilson — if he’d had enough attempts to qualify.

Aidan O’Connell and Brian Hoyer will be the Raiders’ only remaining quarterbacks once they release Garoppolo. Las Vegas could roll with O’Connell again next season after he made 10 starts during his rookie campaign. The Raiders may also consider signing another veteran option or looking for a QB with the No. 13 pick in the upcoming draft.

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Garoppolo will look for work as a backup, but it’s difficult to imagine teams relying on his health. If he does sign with a new club, Garoppolo will be allowed to participate in offseason activities, training camp, and the preseason before sitting out the first two games of the 2024 campaign.

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