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    Jimmy Garoppolo Free Agency: Are Las Vegas Raiders Really Playoff Contenders?

    The Las Vegas Raiders have their replacement for Derek Carr: Ex-Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who reunites with Josh McDaniels.

    Jimmy Garoppolo — the top true free agent quarterback in this year’s class — is going from gold to silver.

    The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is signing a free agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, reuniting with Josh McDaniels — his offensive coordinator when both were with the New England Patriots.

    Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders Agree on Contract

    The terms of Garoppolo’s contract, which cannot become official until the league year begins on Wednesday?

    Three years, $67.5 million with $34 million guaranteed, per ESPN.

    He was the last real option for teams in free agency. Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers are both under contract, so even if they change teams, it will be via trade, not a straightforward signing.

    Garoppolo was available after the 49ers decided to move on this offseason. He missed the Niners’ final six regular-season games and their playoff run due to a significant foot injury.

    He should be ready for the start of the 2023 season, however. And unless things go sideways between now and then, he will be the Raiders’ QB1.

    In nine NFL seasons, Garoppolo has completed 67.6% of his passes with 87 touchdowns, 42 interceptions, and an 8.3 yards-per-attempt average.

    In three years with the Patriots — all with McDaniels as his OC — Garoppolo appeared in 17 games but only started two.

    Jimmy Garoppolo Reunites With Josh McDaniels in a Distributor Role

    The move for Garoppolo always made sense for the Raiders, considering the quarterback’s history with McDaniels. And in 2021, we saw what McDaniels could do with a young, somewhat immobile QB when Mac Jones was under center as a rookie for New England.

    Carr is a bit more mobile than Garoppolo, but the former Patriot and 49er is much more experienced than Carr in McDaniels’ offense — and much more experienced than Jones in general.

    Garoppolo is a wizard over the middle of the field and tends to avoid too many low-percentage deep passes outside of the numbers. Having weapons like Darren Waller and Davante Adams is a perfect supplement to Garoppolo.

    However, the Raiders absolutely must address their porous offensive line, or Garoppolo will live inside of a pocket that feels like it’s 1,000 degrees. Because of his overall immobility and inability to create outside of structure, McDaniels will undoubtedly return to using backs at a higher target share. Last season, Las Vegas targeted backs on 20% of their attempts.

    This is the sort of test that many have been waiting for regarding Garoppolo, who ranks second in EPA per play and fifth in EPA+CPOE composite since 2018. Only Patrick Mahomes has outproduced Garoppolo over that time, and his time with the Raiders will be a fascinating test to prove exactly how much of the 49ers’ offensive success came down to Garoppolo’s individual skill set.

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