Raiders Rumors

Davante Adams Addresses Raiders’ Decision To Bench Jimmy Garoppolo

The Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo last offseason, but he struggled early in the campaign. That was followed by a pair of missed contests and the midseason firings of Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. By the time the veteran quarterback was healthy, he had been benched in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell.

[RELATED: Recapping Raiders’ Offseason]

The latter held starting duties through the remainder of the season, a period with interim head coach Antonio Pierce at the helm. Pierce was hired on a full-time basis after receiving the endorsement of several high-profile Raiders players. One of those was wideout Davante Adams, who appears to have had a say in the decision to replace Garoppolo with O’Connell.

A scene from Netflix’s Receiver series shows Adams being asked his thoughts on the QB decision. The three-time All-Pro replies, “well, my opinion on that was that I signed off on that, and that’s just the reality of it” (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).

It comes as little surprise Adams’ opinion would be asked about a quarterback switch, but his remark suggests further frustration between he and the team could have emerged had Garoppolo stayed in place. Adams joined Vegas in the hopes of reuniting with former college teammate Derek Carr, but that was only the case for one year. Carr’s departure prompted the ill-fated Garoppolo signing and questions about Adams’ future with the Raiders. It seems his desire to remain with the organization was a factor in his view on the shift to O’Connell.

“I love Jimmy.” the 31-year-old added. “He’s a great guy, but something had to happen in order for us to have a chance down the stretch, and for me to remain a Raider, in all honesty.”

Adams recently offered a public commitment to Vegas despite continued interest on the part of former teammates (including Aaron Rodgers) to have him seek a trade elsewhere. Such a move is unlikely at this point, but it is clear Adams had his short- and long-term future in mind when giving his thoughts on the Raiders’ 2023 QB depth chart. O’Connell is still in place, and he will spend training camp competing for the No. 1 gig with Gardner Minshew.

As for Adams, three years remain on his contract (although no guaranteed salary is in place beyond 2024). The six-time Pro Bowler’s cap hits are scheduled to spike next offseason, so an extension or other adjustment could be needed by that point. It will be interesting to see how he meshes with O’Connell and/or Minshew over the course of the coming campaign during Pierce’s first full year as head coach.

Aaron Rodgers On Davante Adams: ‘I Can’t Wait To Play With Him Again’

Davante Adams has been with the Raiders for two seasons, but since the departure of Derek Carr his short- and long-term future has been the subject of considerable speculation. Adams has been floated as a candidate to find his way to the Jets in a reunion with Aaron Rodgers, something the latter recently alluded to.

When asked by Vegas Sports Today about new Raiders offensive coordinator (and former Packers quarterbacks coach) Luke Getsy, Rodgers offered praise for the staffer. He followed that up, however, by saying of Adams that he “can’t wait to play with him again” (video link). That comment comes shortly after the All-Pro wideout confirmed Rodgers has frequently been in contact on the subject of joining forces in New York.

Adams, 31, attempted to shoot down further speculation on that front by reiterating his commitment to the Raiders. He was one of several core players who advocated for Vegas to retain head coach Antonio Pierce on a full-time basis, and doing so has sat well with Adams and Co. The Raiders went 5-4 under Pierce to close out 2023, and repeating that (relative) success this season would bode well for his job security as well as Adams’ desire to remain in place for years to come.

The six-time Pro Bowler is under contract through 2026, but the final two years of his contract call for sizable jumps in annual compensation ($36.25MM) and cap hits ($44.1MM). None of Adams’ base salaries for the 2025 or ’26 seasons are guaranteed, something which could fuel new questions about his Raiders tenure particularly if the team were to struggle early this fall. Both general manager Tom Telesco and owner Mark Davis have made assurances Adams remains in the team’s plans, but renewed trade interest from the Jets could be seen down the road.

New York pursued Adams (among other wideouts) leading up to the 2023 trade deadline, and further interest would come as no surprise. The Jets are believed to have had Adams on their radar since acquiring Rodgers, a logical development given their success in Green Bay. The pair spent eight seasons together with the Packers, and expectations would be high for them if a reunion ever were to take place.

A blockbuster trade sending Adams to New York does not appear to be on tap from his perspective or that of the Raiders. Considering Rodgers’ sway in the Jets’ decision-making, though, his input on the matter could keep this story alive for at least the time being.

Largest 2024 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap ceiling was expected to see a large increase this offseason, but estimates proved to be on the low side. A record-setting jump resulted in a cap of $255.4MM for teams to work with.

That has resulted in new waves of spending at a few positions, with quarterbacks and receivers seeing continued growth at the top of the market. Last offseason offered a strong chance of the league seeing at least one $40MM-plus cap charge, but the Browns avoided such a scenario with a Deshaun Watson restructure. Owing to that move – and the lack of further adjustments this spring – however, Watson’s financial impact is set to grow considerably this season.

Here are the league’s top cap charges on offense leading up to training camp:

  1. Deshaun WatsonQB (Browns): $63.77MM
  2. Dak PrescottQB (Cowboys): $55.13MM
  3. Matthew StaffordQB (Rams): $49.5MM
  4. Kyler MurrayQB (Cardinals): $49.12MM
  5. Daniel JonesQB (Giants): $47.86MM
  6. Patrick MahomesQB (Chiefs): 37.01MM
  7. Lamar JacksonQB (Ravens): $32.4MM
  8. Trent WilliamsLT (49ers): $31.57MM
  9. Tyreek HillWR (Dolphins): $31.32MM
  10. Josh AllenQB (Bills): $30.36MM
  11. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $29.78MM
  12. Taylor MotonRT (Panthers): $29.75MM
  13. Joe BurrowQB (Bengals): $29.55MM
  14. Deebo SamuelWR (49ers): $28.63MM
  15. Chris GodwinWR (Buccaneers): $27.53MM
  16. Jared GoffQB (Lions): $27.21MM
  17. Joe ThuneyLG (Chiefs): $26.97MM
  18. Geno SmithQB (Seahawks): $26.4MM
  19. Laremy TunsilLT (Texans): $25.86MM
  20. Davante AdamsWR (Raiders): $25.35MM
  21. Quenton NelsonLG (Colts): $25.2MM
  22. Kirk CousinsQB (Falcons): $25MM
  23. Jawaan TaylorRT (Chiefs): $24.73MM
  24. D.K. Metcalf, WR (Seahawks): $24.5MM
  25. Christian KirkWR (Jaguars): $24.24MM

Watson’s figure will shatter the NFL record for the largest single-season cap charge if no adjustments are made in the coming weeks. The hits for Prescott, Murray, Stafford and Jones also would have set a new benchmark if not for the Browns passer, a sign of the QB market’s continued upward trajectory. Cleveland is set to remain in a similar situation for the next three years as Watson plays out his fully guaranteed $230MM deal.

Prescott’s future is one of several important questions the Cowboys need to answer relatively soon. With CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons due for second contracts, an extension for the three-time Pro Bowler will need to take into account future commitments. While Prescott has considerable leverage (via no-tag and no-trade clauses), he joins Jones in facing an uncertain post-2024 future in the NFC East.

The latter saw the Giants make an effort to trade up for a quarterback in April and he reacted in an understandable manner. Jones’ $40MM-per-year 2023 extension remains the dominant storyline surrounding the team, and a decision on retaining him or moving on will need to be made prior to a potential out early next offseason. Murray’s performance this fall will likewise be worth watching; he has received consistent praise from head coach Jonathan Gannon, but he will aim to put together a fully healthy season following 2023’s truncated campaign.

Stafford and the Rams have a mutual desire to continue their relationship, but he is seeking guarantees beyond the 2024 campaign. The 36-year-old’s representatives have been in discussion on a resolution during the offseason, although even in the absence of one a training camp holdout is not expected. The likes of Mahomes, Jackson and Allen retain a place in the top 25, and the same will no doubt be true of Burrow for years to come.

Of the receivers listed, only Hill is known to be actively pursuing a new deal. The 30-year-old once led the receiver market with a $30MM AAV, a figure inflated by non-guaranteed money at the end of the pact. With the bar having been raised to new heights this offseason, Hill could join teammate Jaylen Waddle in securing a new payday. Since the team has a Tua Tagovailoa extension on the horizon, however, Miami could hesitate on the Hill front.

It come as little surprise that Williams tops the list for offensive linemen. The 11-time Pro Bowler has been mentioned in retirement rumors before, but playing to age 40 is now a goal. Meeting it could require future contract adjustments. Samuel’s future in the Bay Area was a talking point this offseason as the team attempts to keep Brandon Aiyuk in the fold. One of the high-profile wideouts may be playing for a new team for the first time in their career in 2025.

Elsewhere along the O-line, Moton and Taylor demonstrate the value seen at the right tackle spot in recent years. Given the developments of the guard market this offseason, though, the likes of Thuney and Nelson will have competition for spots on the list in future years. Similarly, the non-Hill wideouts could easily be surpassed in the future with a further additions set to be made (particularly by Lamb, Aiyuk and Ja’Marr Chase) at the top of the ever-increasing market.

Goff joined the $50MM-per-year club on his third NFL deal, whereas Cousins continued to add to his impressive NFL earnings by joining the Falcons. If healthy, the latter could prove to be an effective pickup for a team aiming to return to the postseason (while quieting questions about a transition to Michael Penix Jr. under center). Smith also has plenty riding on this season with a new Seahawks coaching staff in place which incrementally arrived at the decision he will serve as the starter in 2024.

2024 Offseason In Review Series

As training camps near, the NFL offseason is winding down. Many unresolved matters remain — much of them pertaining to quarterbacks and wide receivers — but teams’ rosters are mostly set. Leading up to Week 1, PFR will continue to add to its annual Offseason In Review series. Here is where our latest offseason examinations stand so far:

AFC East

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

AFC North

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC South

  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Tennessee Titans

AFC West

NFC East

NFC North

NFC South

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

The NFL’s general manager ranks featured some key shakeups this offseason. One of the longest-tenured pure GMs in the game, Tom Telesco, lost his Chargers seat 11 years in. The Raiders, however, gave Telesco a second chance. He now controls the Las Vegas roster. Only Telesco and the Jaguars’ Trent Baalke reside as second-chance GMs currently.

Two long-serving personnel bosses also exited this offseason. The Patriots’ decision to move on from 24-year HC Bill Belichick gave Jerod Mayo a head coaching opportunity but also resulted in Eliot Wolf belatedly rising to the top of the team’s front office hierarchy. A former Packers and Browns exec, Wolf held decision-making power through the draft and kept it on an official basis soon after. While John Schneider arrived in Seattle with Pete Carroll in 2010, the latter held final say. Following Carroll’s ouster after 14 seasons, Schneider has full control.

[RELATED: The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches]

The Commanders changed GMs this offseason, hiring ex-San Francisco staffer Adam Peters, but Martin Mayhew received merely a demotion. The three-year Washington GM, who worked alongside Peters with the 49ers, is now in place as a senior personnel exec advising Peters. Rather than look outside the organization, Panthers owner David Tepper replaced Scott Fitterer with Dan Morgan, who had previously worked as the team’s assistant GM.

Going into his 23rd season running the Saints, Mickey Loomis remains the NFL’s longest-serving pure GM. This will mark the veteran exec’s third season without Sean Payton. An eight-year gap now exists between Loomis and the NFL’s second-longest-tenured pure GM.

As the offseason winds down, here is how the league’s 32 GM jobs look:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  4. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  5. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010[3]; signed extension in 2022
  6. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2022
  7. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  8. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  9. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  10. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  11. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2023
  12. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2024
  13. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018; agreed to extension in 2022
  14. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  15. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  16. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020: signed extension in 2024
  17. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  18. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  19. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021: agreed to extension in 2024
  20. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  21. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  22. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  23. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  24. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  25. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022
  26. Monti Ossenfort (Arizona Cardinals): January 16, 2023
  27. Ran Carthon (Tennessee Titans): January 17, 2023
  28. Adam Peters (Washington Commanders): January 12, 2024
  29. Dan Morgan (Carolina Panthers): January 22, 2024
  30. Tom Telesco (Las Vegas Raiders): January 23, 2024
  31. Joe Hortiz (Los Angeles Chargers): January 29, 2024
  32. Eliot Wolf (New England Patriots): May 11, 2024

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. The Eagles bumped Roseman from the top decision-making post in 2015, giving Chip Kelly personnel power. Roseman was reinstated upon Kelly’s December 2015 firing.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

Offseason In Review: Las Vegas Raiders

Mark Davis expressed regret for not elevating Rich Bisaccia to the full-time head coach position in 2022. The owner, who remains tied to Jon Gruden‘s 10-year contract, signed off on paying three HCs last fall by firing Josh McDaniels. Antonio Pierce‘s better-than-expected showing as interim HC prompted Davis to take an unexplored route. The Raiders became the first team in seven years to bump an interim leader to the full-time post, and Pierce becomes one of the least experienced HCs in modern NFL history.

The former Super Bowl-winning linebacker’s promotion defined the Raiders’ offseason, one that also featured the Tom Telesco GM hire and a splashy Christian Wilkins signing. How the Raiders proceeded at quarterback came a close second in terms of offseason storylines. Between choosing Pierce and not taking a big swing for a QB, the Raiders took the road less traveled this offseason.

Coaching/front office:

Player support for Pierce reached the point Maxx Crosby threatened a trade request had Davis not broken with recent NFL tradition and elevated his interim HC. Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams also stumped for Pierce, who received interview requests from the Falcons and Titans. The Raiders made an early decision to pass on a true coaching searching, only interviewing two other candidates (Leslie Frazier and Kris Richard). The search process that ended with Pierce reminded of the plan that produced Gruden, with the team only clearing the Rooney Rule bar before choosing a coach. Pierce being Black, of course, separates this Raiders search from a typical Rooney Rule issue. But this still represents one of the most daring HC hires in decades.

Of the 160 men hired to be head coaches this century, only eight have moved up without previous NFL HC experience, at least one season as a coordinator (or time as a de facto coordinator, in the cases of coaching candidates under the title-phobic Bill Belichick) in the league or time as a college HC. Here is that list:

  • Antonio Pierce, Raiders (2024)
  • Jerod Mayo, Patriots (2024)
  • Jim Tomsula, 49ers (2015)
  • Mike Munchak, Titans (2011)
  • Raheem Morris, Buccaneers (2009)
  • Tom Cable, Raiders (2008)
  • Mike Singletary, 49ers (2008)
  • Lane Kiffin, Raiders (2007)

The Raiders had swerved off this route after Al Davis Cable’s interim tag, hiring veterans like Gruden, McDaniels and Jack Del Rio. Pierce went 5-4 as an interim HC, with the Raiders’ one-sided road win over the Chiefs beginning his charge in earnest for the full-time gig. Still, Pierce’s only full-time coaching positions are Raiders linebackers coach, Arizona State defensive coordinator, Sun Devils LBs coach and Long Beach Poly High HC.

Although Pierce’s nine NFL seasons took up time, he did not enter full-time coaching for nearly five years after his retirement. He also resigned from Arizona State during an NCAA recruiting investigation, but the leadership the ex-Washington and New York linebacker displayed — along with his knowledge of the Raiders’ culture — impressed players and ownership.

Al Davis pulled the trigger on the Kiffin and Cable moves, but Mark Davis is still trying to make a successful hire. The Raiders have two playoff berths since Super Bowl XXXVII, with the franchise tumbling off the contender radar quickly after that blowout. Last season did bring signs of improvement, but teams generally steer clear of promoting interims. Mark Davis passing on a true HC search to keep Pierce based largely on his players’ wishes could represent another of the owner’s shortcomings, but this will be a fascinating experiment.

A report of mutual interest between the Raiders and Jim Harbaugh, who began his coaching career as Bill Callahan‘s QBs coach in 2002, surfaced but did not precede much else of note tying the team to a big-ticket candidate. The Raiders did reach out to Harbaugh’s agent, however, before the Pierce hire. Pierce, 45, and Harbaugh will soon be matching up twice a year. The Raiders did not pursue Mike Vrabel, and Belichick connections proved fleeting. They will hope to keep the Pierce-centered momentum going. The Jaguars (Doug Marrone) were the most recent team to take this route; Marrone lasted four seasons in the full-time chair.

Interim GM Kelly sat in on Raiders HC interviews, but the Raiders were not committed to keeping Dave Ziegler‘s former assistant GM atop the front office. Davis instead chose to pair Pierce with one of the NFL’s most experienced GMs. Telesco spent 11 seasons running the Chargers, and although the team’s underachievement reputation grew to define it during this span, Davis was sufficiently impressed with the Bolts’ roster strength to look beyond their 3-for-11 playoff rate under Telesco. Not counting the Eagles having reinstalled Howie Roseman atop their FO pyramid, Telesco is only the second current GM to be given a second chance, joining Trent Baalke (Jaguars).

Telesco, 51, spent more than a decade working under Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian, being present for the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI win and their Super Bowl berth four years later. As Chargers GM, Telesco hammered out a Philip Rivers extension and later showed an ability to locate a franchise quarterback by drafting Justin Herbert sixth overall in 2020. The Chargers extended their Pro Bowl passer in Telesco’s final months on the job, but an inability to turn franchise QBs and offseason hype into Super Bowl pushes have plagued the Chargers for years.

Pierce’s team walloping the Chargers 63-21 on national TV led to Telesco and Brandon Staley‘s ousters. It is, then, rather interesting Telesco resurfaced alongside Pierce in Las Vegas. The Raiders gave Telesco roster control, which he also held in California. Telesco brought former Chargers exec-turned-interim GM Wooden with him, but he is working primarily with two staffers — Pierce and Kelly — he did not hire. With Kelly having interviewed for the Raiders’ GM job in 2022 and ’24, this forced partnership will be a notable AFC West storyline.

The Telesco-Pierce partnership hit an early snag when its top OC choice reneged on his commitment to join the Commanders. Kingsbury, who re-emerged as a coveted staffer after a year as USC’s QBs coach, was believed to have sought a three-year contract whereas the Raiders only offered a two-year deal. A report soon indicated new Commanders minority owner Magic Johnson helped sway Kingsbury. The Raiders then pivoted to Getsy, whom the Bears had fired weeks earlier.

Getsy, 40, has followed up a run as Aaron Rodgers‘ position coach to two gigs with below-average passers. The young coordinator certainly runs the risk of seeing his play-calling opportunities dry up early, but with many NFL OC gigs not coming with play-calling duties, Getsy has also managed to secure that role twice already.

The Bears ranked 23rd and 18th in scoring offense during Getsy’s two seasons in Illinois, numbers that appear out of line when considering Justin Fields‘ minimal trade value. Getsy took criticism for Fields’ struggles as a passer, but the ex-first-rounder showed some improvement in 2023. This came after Getsy utilized his starter’s prodigious run-game skills en route to Lamar Jackson‘s single-season QB rushing mark nearly falling in 2022.

While Getsy will work with a different genre of QB in Las Vegas, Graham is staying after the Raiders finally showed promise defensively. Graham’s first Raiders defense continued an extended run of futility in 2022, but the unit ranked ninth in scoring last season. This was the first time a Raider defense has ranked in the top half in scoring defense since 2002. Ending that unfathomable streak boosted Graham’s stock, and while he drew more HC interest, the Raiders blocked their defensive play-caller from interviewing for other DC positions.

Pierce’s former Giants HC, Tom Coughlin, helped him prepare during his interim gig and assisted his former pupil in assembling his first Raiders staff. The staff includes Lewis, who returns to the NFL five years after his Bengals firing. Lewis, 65, worked as Arizona State’s co-DC with Pierce in 2020 and stayed on the Sun Devils’ staff as Pierce took on the full-time role in 2021.

The 16-year Bengals HC will work with Graham and Pierce on defense, while Philbin — and not ex-Raider HC Hue Jackson, a rumored target — is in place as a former NFL leader helping out on offense. These senior assistants could be more important on this particular staff due to Pierce’s inexperience.

Free agency additions:

Wilkins joined Chris Jones and Justin Madubuike as defensive tackles who scored market-changing deals this offseason, with the two more experienced players doing better due to unique circumstances. The Dolphins’ cap situation, which required multiple high-profile cuts and longtime starters departing in free agency, made a Wilkins franchise tag difficult. As a result, the five-year Miami starter followed Jones in scoring a monster guarantee.

After it became clear the Dolphins’ efforts to keep Wilkins off the market would fail, the Texans and Vikings surfaced as suitors. But the Raiders swooped in to add an impact piece to their Crosby-centric pass rush. Madubuike already raised the DT guarantee ceiling to $75.5MM upon being franchise-tagged and extended. Jones upped it to a staggering $95MM. Wilkins then secured $82.75MM in total guarantees ($57.5MM at signing).

To put these numbers in perspective, the top DT guarantee stood at $66MM (Quinnen Williams) entering 2024. Jones and Wilkins avoiding the tag, as the salary cap spiked by $30.6MM, keyed a market shift that will affect future teams’ negotiations with talented DTs.

Months-long Dolphins-Wilkins talks included an offer that would have made the 2019 first-rounder a top-10 highest-paid DT, with guarantees surpassing $40MM. Wilkins’ Raiders pact surpassing $80MM guaranteed highlights both favorable circumstances and the Clemson alum’s improvement as a pass rusher.

The Dolphins were hesitant to pay Wilkins on the level of the new DT market that formed — via the 2023 deals for first-rounders Williams, Daron Payne, Jeffery Simmons and Dexter Lawrence — due to his limited production as a pass rusher. After displaying top-notch skills against the run, Wilkins broke through with nine sacks and 23 QB hits (his previous career-highs stood at 4.5 and 13 in these categories) in 2023. Wilkins finished 13th in ESPN’s pass rush win rate metric last season. This came after he ranked first and second, respectively, in run stop win rate in 2021 and ’22.

PFR’s No. 4 free agent, Wilkins saw Nos. 2 and 3 on that list (Baker Mayfield and Jones) cash in before the legal tampering period. Jones’ deal took an elite option off the market, clearing the runway for Wilkins’ windfall. The Raiders, who have kept costs low on their D-line for a bit, changed course and will aim for the 28-year-old DT changing the equation up front.

A herd of bridge- or backup-level quarterbacks hit free agency. As the Raiders acknowledged their miss on Jimmy Garoppolo, they made the biggest investment via Minshew’s $15MM. This contract rewards the spot starter after he took a $3.5MM deal to become insurance for the QB the Colts would draft. Indianapolis’ Anthony Richardson decision translated to 13 Minshew starts. The Colts went 7-6 in those games, coming close to a surprise AFC South title.

Minshew’s $15MM total guarantee topped the next-closest free agent QB (Sam Darnold) by more than $6MM, illustrating the market for the former Jaguars sixth-rounder. The Raiders gave Garoppolo $33.75MM guaranteed and dropped him after six starts. Minshew’s contract would generate a maximum of $7.6MM in dead money if dropped in 2025.

The Raiders agreeing to pay out Minshew’s 2025 base salary ($11.84MM) will depend on the competition between he and 2023 fourth-rounder Aidan O’Connell. With the Raiders’ primary 2023 starter believed to hold an early lead, Minshew will need to summon the moxie he showed in Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

Read more

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:

Davante Adams Committed To Raiders, Discusses Aaron Rodgers Pairing

Things haven’t necessarily gone as planned for Davante Adams in Las Vegas. The wideout pushed his way out of Green Bay and landed with the Raiders and his college QB, Derek Carr. That QB/WR tandem only lasted one season, with the Josh McDanielsDave Ziegler regime shaking up the quarterback position ahead of the 2023 campaign.

[RELATED: Offseason In Review: Las Vegas Raiders]

Adams hinted at some frustration before the Raiders ditched that head coach/GM duo, but the receiver admitted that interim-turned-full-time head coach Antonio Pierce is a big reason why he’s content ahead of the 2024 season.

“I wouldn’t be feeling as good as I do now,” Adams said of Pierce’s promotion during an appearance on “Up & Adams Show with Kay Adams” (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). “That’s for sure. He’s the type of guy that I really enjoy speaking to, working with, so I basically tried to do everything that I could to make it to where the front office didn’t have any other choice.”

Pierce guided the Raiders to a 5-4 record after McDaniels was canned, a performance that helped earn him a promotion to the full-time gig. While there’s still uncertainty at the quarterback position, Adams is committed to the Raiders…and he’s denying inquiries from some of his former teammates. Specifically, Adams admitted that Aaron Rodgers has been “in that ear” since the quarterback moved to the Jets.

“It’s not as easy as — obviously we can get together and talk about the old times and potential of doing this and that, but like I said I’m a Raider, and he knows that,” Adams said. “Maybe in the next lifetime.”

Adams also said he’s heard from former teammate Josh Jacobs, who joined the wideout’s former squad in Green Bay this offseason.

“I told him you go ahead and hold it down,” Adams said. “I’m gonna hold it down over here. I don’t think I’ll be coming back over there. Never know what’s gonna happen. If they ship me off, there’s not much I can do about it, but I’m a Raider. So nobody got to worry about that.”

Despite the management changes, the Raiders quickly quieted trade chatter this offseason, with both Pierce and new GM Tom Telesco (along with owner Mark Davis) expressing interest in keeping Adams around long-term. The wideout is attached to massive $44MM cap hits in both 2025 and 2026, but the Raiders could get out of the deal next offseason with only a temporary dead cap hit of $15.7MM. While both sides are currently saying all the right things, Adams’ future in Las Vegas will still be worth watching over the next year.

Richard Seymour Joins Tom Brady In Agreeing To Buy Raiders Stake

While Richard Seymour‘s Patriots years played the lead role in forging a Hall of Fame path, he has operated in a post-playing role for the Raiders. That continued this offseason, when the Silver and Black made the former defensive lineman part of their search process upon filling their HC and GM positions.

Seymour, who played for the Raiders from 2009-12, was part of the committee that met with HC and GM candidates this offseason. The 12-year NFL veteran is on track to continue playing a role in Las Vegas, with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reporting he has agreed to buy an ownership stake.

Seymour is close to finalizing this agreement, which will make him a part-owner and limited partner of the AFC West franchise, and Florio adds the former Patriots first-rounder will team with Brady — along with their own respective partners — to own 10.4% of the club. NFL owners must approve this stake, and they have not yet signed off on Brady’s piece of the Raiders despite the QB legend-turned-broadcaster having agreed to become a Raiders minority owner in May 2023.

The Raiders will aim to present this arrangement for approval at the October owners’ meetings, per Florio. It is believed the issue of Brady’s stake price, which Mark Davis was initially believed to have sold at a steep discount, has been resolved. But Seymour being part of this process may further alleviate concerns among other owners. Though, Brady’s role with FOX now looks to be the primary issue holding up his route into the ownership ranks.

Roger Goodell said the NFL will need to adopt a policy regarding Brady operating in a dual ownership/announcer role, as owners have voiced concerns about the debuting FOX color analyst being a Raiders owner while having access to other teams’ facilities to prepare for game assignments. Seymour’s ownership stake would not seem to affect this component of Brady’s ownership snag, so it remains to be seen if 24 owners will approve the former Patriot teammates’ bid to join Davis as Raiders owners.

The Patriots traded Seymour to the Raiders just before the 2009 season. The four-year Oakland cog made two Pro Bowls during his Raiders stay, one that included the veteran defender providing some assistance to Mark Davis in his early period as the team’s owner. Al Davis had approached Seymour about a future front office role, and he joined Mark Davis, team president Sandra Douglass Morgan, director of football administration Tom Delaney, board member Larry Delsen and advisor Ken Herock on the interview panel that produced the Antonio Pierce-Tom Telesco partnership. Although Seymour’s ownership bid has hurdles to clear, it certainly looks like the Raiders have the 44-year-old in their plans moving forward.

Raiders LT Kolton Miller Expected To Be Ready For Week 1

Raiders left tackle Kolton Miller missed four games in 2023 due to a shoulder injury, which also caused him to play less than a full snap share in two other contests. However, it does not sound as if the team has any concerns about his Week 1 availability.

Per Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required), Miller is making good progress in his rehab of the offseason surgery he underwent to address the shoulder issue. We had previously heard that Las Vegas will “manage” the blindside blocker this season to keep him healthy — presumably by limiting his workload in practice — so it should be expected that free agent acquisition Andrus Peat will take plenty of reps at LT in training camp and throughout the season, just as he did in last month’s minicamp.

The club has a fair amount of uncertainty at three of its five O-line positions. Dylan Parham, a 2022 third-rounder who has been a full-time starter during his first two years in the league, has taken the vast majority of his snaps at left guard (with generally middling results), but he will be shifitng to right guard for the upcoming season. Second-round rookie Jackson Powers-Johnson will be taking over LG duties, while 2022 seventh-rounder Thayer Munford is penciled in at right tackle. Veteran Andre James remains entrenched at the pivot.

It is a group that is relatively light on experience, making a healthy and productive campaign for Miller and James especially critical. Plus, while Miller is under contract through 2025 by virtue of the three-year, $54MM extension he signed in March 2021, there is no more guaranteed money left on his deal. If he can sustain the high level of play he has demonstrated over the past few seasons and handle a full slate of games, he will position himself nicely for a another lucrative extension.

Miller, who will turn 29 in September, was the first selection of the Raiders’ second Jon Gruden regime and was taken with the No. 15 overall pick of the 2018 draft. At the time, the choice was decried as a reach based on need, and Miller did indeed struggle in his rookie campaign. He showed marked improvement over the following two seasons, and after landing his big-money second contract, he reached new heights. From 2021-2023, Pro Football Focus assigned Miller stellar overall grades of 85.0, 84.1, and 80.2, all of which placed him inside or barely outside the league’s top 10 offensive tackles.

With the other question marks on the O-line and a relatively uninspiring quarterback situation, the Raiders will be counting on a similar showing.