Poll: Who Will Win Raiders’ QB Competition?

Training camp and the preseason in 2024 will decide plenty of position battles around the NFL. With respect to quarterbacks, though, few starting gigs are truly unaccounted for this offseason. The Raiders represent an exception.

Vegas’ 2023 Jimmy Garoppolo investment did not pay off as hoped, and he was released after one injury-shortened campaign with the team. Garoppolo’s injury opened the door for Aidan O’Connell to see game action over the second half of the campaign, one in which Josh McDaniels was replaced by Antonio Pierce. The latter was given the full-time gig this spring, and that decision left a fan of O’Connell’s in the building.

Pierce said in March the 2023 fourth-rounder would open any QB competition in pole position. The Raiders were subsequently linked to adding a passer in the first round of the draft, with Pierce appearing to be more on board with a move up the order than new general manager Tom Telesco. In the end, Vegas remained in place on Day 1 and as a result did not add further competition to O’Connell and free agent signing Gardner Minshew.

The latter inked a two-year, $25MM deal in March to join the Raiders. That agreement – a rather lucrative one for a backup – put to rest consideration of a potential Justin Fields acquisition but did not ensure Minshew a first-team role. The 28-year-old was instead viewed as an insurance policy for any rookie the team added as an eventual starter. With such a move not coming to fruition, O’Connell and Minshew will compete for the Week 1 nod this summer.

O’Connell, 25, struggled with turnovers early in his time at the helm before settling down in that regard. Over the course of his final six games, he posted a 9:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Vegas relied on a ground-heavy attack during that time, but the Purdue alum offered enough to suggest he could develop into a starting-caliber option. Increasing his 202 passing yards per game average to an extent would be necessary to achieve that, of course.

Minshew, by contrast, is much more of a known commodity. The former Jaguar and Eagle joined the Colts last offseason to reunite with Shane Steichen. That move proved to be an important one for team and player with much of Anthony Richardson‘s rookie campaign spent on the sidelines due to injury. Minshew logged 13 starts and threw for a career-high 3,305 yards last season, nearly leading Indianapolis to a postseason berth and earning a Pro Bowl invite.

The most recent update on the competition noted that O’Connell may have a slight edge on Minshew entering training camp as the team’s familiar QB option. The Raiders have a different offensive coordinator (Luke Getsy) in place for 2024, though, something which should level the playing field in that respect from Minshew’s perspective. The depth chart will be finalized based on each passer’s performances in the summer, which will consist of split training camp reps and could involve both getting significant preseason playing time.

In the end, who do you feel will win out and earn the starting gig? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and give your thoughts in the comments section below:

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