Raiders To Sign QB Gardner Minshew

Well, a Justin Fields-Raiders union seems unlikely to come to pass now. The Raiders are in agreement with Gardner Minshew on a two-year deal,’s Ian Rapoport reports.

As things move fast in the early days of free agency, the Raiders were reported to be considering Fields. But they were previously mentioned as a non-suitor for the Bears passer. Minshew now looks to be the passer coming in to compete with Aidan O’Connell — and perhaps a rookie — for the job.

Minshew needed to settle for just a $3.5MM deal as a Colts bridge last year. His work replacing Anthony Richardson garnered the ex-Jaguars draftee a much bigger market. The Raiders are giving Minshew $15MM guaranteed on a deal worth $25MM,’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Based on this contract, O’Connell does not seem to have much of a shot to retain his starting job.

The Colts benefited from their Minshew stopgap addition, coming close to rebounding from a four-win 2022 season by making the playoffs. That journey fell just short, with the Texans edging the Colts in Week 18, but Minshew made another extended audition count. He found believers in the Raiders, who now have a QB1 option while they assess their long-term plan.

Minshew, 27, has already made 37 career starts — mostly with the Jaguars and Colts. Last season, the popular backup became needed as a starter once again after Richardson needed shoulder surgery. The Colts’ passing attack may well have been better off — for 2023, at least — with Richardson a raw prospect on the aerial front. Minshew threw for 3,305 yards, though at just 6.7 per attempt, and tossed 15 TD passes compared to nine INTs. QBR placed Minshew 13th, as he helped the Colts to a nine-win season, going 7-6 as a starter.

Joining Ryan Tannehill, Jacoby Brissett, Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco among the bridge options on this year’s market, Minshew scoring this Raiders deal represents one fewer starter opportunity for the rest of this lot. The Vikings are believed to be interested in Darnold, however, and it is not known if the Broncos will go with 2022 Raiders backup Jarrett Stidham post-Russell Wilson or snag another veteran.

The Broncos, Vikings and Raiders have been tied to move for a rookie. Antonio Pierce has been the most transparent regarding interest in a longer-term option. The Raiders have been connected to Jayden Daniels, who was at Arizona State during Pierce’s tenure on staff, but that move would require Las Vegas surrendering significant assets. For now, the team has Minshew as a placeholder — and a well-paid one at that.

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