Jimmy Garoppolo

QB Notes: Dak, Ravens, Lance, Dobbs, Lions

Although a report earlier this month indicated the Cowboys and Dak Prescott had not begun contract negotiations, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe notes conversations occurred “throughout the offseason.” The Cowboys restructured Prescott’s deal in March, creating 2023 cap space but setting up a showdown of sorts in 2024. Because of the redo, Prescott carries what would be a record-shattering $59.5MM cap hit for 2024, the final year of his contract. Prescott, 30, will almost definitely not play on that number; no one has ever played on a cap number north of $45MM.

Because the Cowboys tagged Dak in 2020 and procedurally tagged him in 2021, part of the long-running negotiations that finally produced a deal in March 2021, they do not have a 2025 tag at their disposal. The Cowboys want to gain contract clarity with Prescott, Howe notes (subscription required), with CeeDee Lamb extension-eligible and Micah Parsons eligible in January. But the eighth-year QB will hold tremendous leverage, particularly if he can complete a bounce-back season, once the sides get serious about an extension.

Here is more on the QB front:

Restructured Contracts: Garoppolo, Bills, Wilson, Reed

Jimmy Garoppolo continues to help the Raiders carve out cap space. After reworking his deal earlier this offseason, the quarterback has once again restructured his deal, per ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

The move will create $17MM in cap space for the organization, making them cap compliant. As Vince Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes, the team previously converted an $11.25MM signing bonus into base salary, increasing Garoppolo‘s salary from $11.25MM to $22.5MM in the process. Bonsignore assumes the front office did some work today to reduce that newfound 2023 number.

Shortly after Garoppolo signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal, he underwent surgery to repair the fractured foot he sustained in early December. The Raiders’ first restructuring helped protect the organization in case the QB’s foot injury lingers into the regular season.

More financial notes from around the NFL…

  • The Bills opened a chunk of cap space today. The team opened $4.5MM in cap space by restructuring the contracts of guard Ryan Bates and cornerback Taron Johnson, per Yates. Bates turned into a full-time starter for the Bills in 2022, while Johnson has started 41 games for Buffalo over the past three seasons.
  • Cedrick Wilson Jr. reworked his contract with the Dolphins prior to cutdown day, per Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS. The veteran wideout lowered his base salary to $2MM while receiving a $3MM signing bonus, equaling his $5MM in guarantees from last season. With incentives, Wilson can earn up to $7.25MM on his reworked contract.
  • The Vikings recently reworked the contract of guard Chris Reed, according to ESPN’s Ben Goessling. The offensive lineman’s base salary is now fully guaranteed at $1.165MM, an increase from the $1.4MM ($600K guaranteed) pact he was previously attached to. This was the second time this offseason that Reed agreed to a reworked contract.
  • Browns left tackle Jedrick Wills restructured his deal recently, converting $2.28MM of his base salary into a signing bonus, per Yates. The new deal also has three new void years, opening around $1.8MM in cap space.
  • The Cowboys restructured Neville Gallimore‘s contract, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. The defensive tackle’s salary was reduced from $2.7MM to $1.5MM, and he can now earn $750K via incentives.

Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo Passes Physical

Although a report last month indicated that Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was expected to be medically cleared in time for training camp, there are no sure things when it comes to Garoppolo and his health concerns. Fortunately for Las Vegas and its new signal-caller, Garoppolo has passed his physical and will be on the field when camp opens this week (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

Garoppolo, who was in the midst of a strong 2022 season for the 49ers, suffered a foot fracture in a Week 13 victory over the Dolphins in December. He had attempted non-surgical rehab so that he could be ready in the event that San Francisco made a deep playoff run (which it did), but that attempt was unsuccessful. Ultimately, Garoppolo went under the knife shortly after he signed a three-year, $72.75MM contract with Vegas in March.

In order to protect themselves financially, the Raiders later amended Garoppolo’s deal by converting a roster bonus of $11.25MM, which would have become due on Day 3 of the 2024 league year, into base salary. The other $22.5MM of Garoppolo’s $33.75MM in guarantees came in the form of 2023 salary, and under the amended contract, that money would only be payable if Garoppolo passed a physical. Now that he has, Garoppolo will secure the $22.5MM payout.

Counting the 49ers’ three playoff contests in January, the 31-year-old passer has missed 33 games due to injury since suffering an ACL tear in September 2018. Garoppolo played every game for the Super Bowl LIV-bound Niners a year later but suffered an ankle injury that shortened his 2020 season to six games. San Francisco’s starter battled calf, thumb, and shoulder maladies in 2021, and he ultimately required two surgeries after that season.

When he is healthy, though, Garoppolo is a quality player, and the Raiders clearly believe that he will be an upgrade over longtime starter Derek Carr, who was released in February. Garoppolo will take the reins of an offense that has a fair amount of skill-position talent in wideouts Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Hunter Renfrow, running back Josh Jacobs (assuming he ultimately signs his franchise tender), and tight ends Austin Hooper and Michael Mayer.

The Raiders did finish as a top-12 offense in 2022 in terms of both yards-per-game and points-per-game. However, Carr’s completion percentage and yards-per-attempt rate dropped considerably in his first (and only) year in Josh McDaniels‘ offense, and Garoppolo — who began his career in New England as a McDaniels protege — is viewed as a better fit.

Las Vegas did host the top five QB prospects in this year’s draft and even had trade talks with the Bears regarding the No. 1 overall pick. Ultimately, the club did not select a collegiate signal-caller until the fourth round (Aidan O’Connell), and the only other quarterbacks on the roster are Brian Hoyer, who is entering his age-38 season, and former UDFA Chase Garbers. As such, if he can stay healthy and productive, Garoppolo stands a good chance of remaining with the Silver-and-Black in 2024, and perhaps beyond.

Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 7-3 record as a starter in 2022, completing 67.2% of his passes for 16 TDs against just four interceptions. That amounted to a quarterback rating of 103.0.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler first reported that Garoppolo was expected to pass his physical (Twitter link).

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Offense

The NFL’s salary cap once again ballooned by more than $10MM, rising from its $208.2MM perch to $224.8MM. Factoring in the pandemic-induced 2021 regression, the NFL’s salary risen has climbed by more than $42MM since 2021.

This has allowed teams more opportunities for roster additions and opened the door for more lucrative player deals — at most positions, at least. However, it does not look like this season will include a $40MM player cap number. The Browns avoided a record-shattering Deshaun Watson $54.9MM hit by restructuring the quarterback’s fully guaranteed contract, calling for monster figures from 2024-26.

Here are the largest cap hits for teams on the offensive side going into training camp:

  1. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $39.69MM
  2. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $36.6MM
  3. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $30.98MM
  4. Jake Matthews, T (Falcons): $28.36MM
  5. Trent Williams, T (49ers): $27.18MM
  6. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $26.83MM
  7. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $26.61MM
  8. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $23.8MM
  9. Amari Cooper, WR (Browns): $23.78MM
  10. Mike Evans, WR (Buccaneers): $23.69MM
  11. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $23.67MM
  12. Joe Thuney, G (Chiefs): $22.12MM
  13. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $22MM
  14. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $22MM
  15. Daniel Jones, QB (Giants): $21.75MM
  16. David Bakhtiari, T (Packers): $21.29MM
  17. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $20.25MM
  18. D.J. Moore, WR (Bears): $20.17MM
  19. Matthew Stafford, QB (Rams): $20MM
  20. Brian O’Neill, T (Vikings): $19.66MM
  21. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $19.35MM
  22. Deshaun Watson, QB (Browns): $19.1MM
  23. Braden Smith, T (Colts): $19MM
  24. Josh Allen, QB (Bills): $18.64MM
  25. Courtland Sutton, WR (Broncos): $18.27MM

As should be expected, quarterbacks dominate this list. Mahomes’ number checks in here despite the Chiefs restructuring his 10-year, $450MM contract in March; the two-time MVP’s cap hit would have set an NFL record had Kansas City not reduced it. The Chiefs did not restructure Mahomes’ deal last year, but if they do not address it — perhaps via a complex reworking — before next season, Mahomes’ $46.93MM number would break an NFL record.

The Titans have not touched Tannehill’s contract this offseason, one that included some trade rumors months ago. This is the final year of Tannehill’s Tennessee extension. Mahomes and Tannehill sat atop this ranking in 2022.

Cousins is also heading into a contract year, after the Vikings opted for a restructure and not an extension this offseason. Cousins does not expect to discuss another Minnesota deal until 2024, when he is due for free agency. Two relatively low cap numbers have started Wilson’s $49MM-per-year extension. The Denver QB’s cap number rises to $35.4MM in 2024 and reaches historic heights ($55.4MM) by ’25. The subject of a Goff extension has come up, and it would bring down the Lions passer’s figure. But Goff remains tied to his Rams-constructed $33.5MM-per-year deal through 2024.

Jackson and Jones’ numbers will rise in the near future, with the latter’s contract calling for a quick spike in 2024. Next year, the Giants QB’s cap hit will be $45MM. Watson’s 2024 hit, as of now, would top that. The Browns signal-caller is on the team’s ’24 payroll at $63.98MM. Long-term consequences aside, the Browns can be expected to once again go to the restructure well with Watson’s outlier contract.

The Raiders did not backload Garoppolo’s three-year contract; it only climbs to $24.25MM on Las Vegas’ 2024 cap sheet. The Bills did backload Allen’s pact. Its team-friendly years are done after 2023; the six-year accord spikes to $47.1MM on Buffalo’s cap next year. The Cowboys have gone to the restructure well with Prescott. Like Watson, the Cowboys quarterback is tied to a seemingly untenable 2024 cap number. The March restructure resulted in Prescott’s 2024 number rising to $59.46MM. Two seasons remain on that $40MM-AAV extension.

Another notable cap hold that should be mentioned is Tom Brady‘s. When the Buccaneers did not sign the again-retired QB to another contract before the 2023 league year, his $35.1MM dead-money figure went onto Tampa Bay’s 2023 cap sheet. The Bucs will absorb that entire amount this year. Brady’s 2022 restructure, after retirement No. 1, led to the $35.1MM figure forming.

Were it not for another O-line-record extension, the Tunsil number would have come in at $35MM this year. Matthews signed an extension last year. Moore would have come in higher on this list were he still on the Panthers, who took on $14.6MM in dead money to move their top wideout for the No. 1 overall pick. Sutton came up regularly in trade rumors, with the Broncos wanting a second-round pick for the sixth-year veteran. The former second-rounder’s high base salary ($14MM) hinders his trade value.

Jimmy Garoppolo Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp

When it became known Jimmy Garoppolo underwent foot surgery, Josh McDaniels did not reveal a return timetable. The second-year Raiders HC has remained comfortable with this situation, which encountered a bit of turbulence in March.

The Raiders believe they will be past the rough waters regarding Garoppolo’s foot trouble by training camp. Garoppolo is expected to be fully recovered by camp, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who adds the veteran quarterback should be ready to go weeks before that point (video link). Garoppolo initially suffered the foot fracture in December, and while he had attempted non-surgical rehab for a potential January or February return, the ex-49ers passer ended up needing to go under the knife shortly after signing with the Raiders.

[RELATED: Tom Brady Insists He Will Stay Retired]

Although Garoppolo agreed to a three-year, $72.75MM deal with more than $33MM fully guaranteed, the Raiders included an injury waiver before the 10th-year vet signed the deal. Garoppolo now must pass a physical before seeing his guaranteed money. But an early separation would make neither party look particularly good. As it stands now, the Raiders are committed to moving forward with Garoppolo as their starter.

Garoppolo, 31, has attended OTAs thus far but has not taken part. He will be returning to a McDaniels-led offense for the first time since the 2017 season. Garoppolo spent four years in McDaniels’ offense in New England, but an October 2017 trade split up the pair — as Tom Brady‘s endless prime continued into the late 2010s. The Raiders ditched Derek Carr, who had missed two regular-season games due to injury in his career, for Garoppolo. While familiarity with McDaniels will certainly help, Las Vegas is obviously taking a considerable risk here. Garoppolo has missed 33 games due to injury since his September 2018 ACL tear and has only finished two of the past five seasons.

Until Garoppolo is recovered, the Raiders will have off-and-on Patriot Brian Hoyer, who signed with the team this offseason, taking snaps. Hoyer, who spent most of last season on the Patriots’ IR list, is going into his age-38 season. Fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell and former UDFA Chase Garbers are the other QBs on the Raiders’ roster. Rather than an emergency Carson Wentz or Teddy Bridgewater escape hatch, the Raiders remain tethered to Garoppolo. Barring a setback, the expected Vegas starter will be on the field come training camp.

Durability concerns should be tied to Garoppolo once he recovers from the foot surgery, but regarding this particular injury, the Raiders expect June to be the recovery homestretch.

Raiders Reworked Jimmy Garoppolo’s Deal; Tom Brady Not Realistic Emergency Option?

While Derek Carr did not exactly bring a high ceiling at quarterback for the Raiders, the nine-year starter is one of the NFL’s most durable quarterbacks. Carr missed two regular-season games (and one playoff contest) due to injury with the Raiders. Las Vegas’ plan to replace Carr is not off to a great start.

Shortly after Jimmy Garoppolo signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal, he underwent surgery to repair the fractured foot he sustained in early December. Faint hopes had kept the door narrowly ajar for a Garoppolo return for Super Bowl LVII, which would have been as a backup given Brock Purdy‘s stunning production, so the new Raiders QB being sidelined likely until training camp raised a red flag. The Raiders ended up making a change to protect themselves.

A delay between Garoppolo’s free agency agreement and the signing of the contract commenced in March. In that time, the Raiders inserted a clause that will offer them protection in the event Garoppolo cannot pass a physical, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. This addendum gives the Raiders an out in the event the left foot injury keeps Garoppolo off the field, and it converted $11.25MM from roster bonus to base salary.

Garoppolo’s reported agreement featured $33.75MM guaranteed at signing. The $11.25MM bonus — due on Day 3 of the 2024 league year — comprised part of that total. Garoppolo’s other guaranteed cash comes from a $22.5MM 2023 base salary, which the Raiders will only be on the hook for if Garoppolo passes a physical. To some degree, their situation resembles a fifth-year option setup during the period in which the options were guaranteed for injury only. But teams could only cut those former first-rounders free of charge if said player passed a physical a year later; Garoppolo failing his opens the door to a free-of-charge Raiders release.

This reality would introduce significant concerns for Las Vegas, which dumped Carr for one of the NFL’s most injury-prone players. Garoppolo has missed 33 games due to injury since suffering an ACL tear in September 2018 and has only finished two of his past five seasons. In the two Garoppolo did complete, he started Super Bowl LIV and piloted the 49ers to the 2021 NFC championship game. But calf, thumb and shoulder injuries — the latter two requiring surgeries — affected him during the latter season. At 31 and coming off three straight injury-plagued years, Garoppolo is certainly a poor bet to make it through this season unscathed.

On the other side of this, Garoppolo passing a physical removes the clause from the equation, The Athletic’s Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur report (subscription required). Josh McDaniels, who coached Garoppolo in New England from 2014-17, said everything is on schedule for the 10th-year veteran, with the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore indicating the team believes the clause will be moot (Twitter link).

A window exists for the Raiders to release Garoppolo before he passes his physical. Of course, they would be doing so with limited options at the position. The team has used offseason addition Brian Hoyer as its first-stringer during OTAs thus far, per The Athletic, though the 37-year-old passer is far past his prime and would invite obvious questions about the Raiders’ competitive viability this season. The Raiders attempted to keep Jarrett Stidham, but he signed with the Broncos to be Russell Wilson‘s backup. The team hosted the draft’s top five QB prospects and discussed a trade for the No. 1 pick with the Bears. But the Raiders did not make their QB move until the fourth round (Aidan O’Connell). The ex-Purdue arm is viewed as a developmental player.

Carson Wentz stands as the top passer available, and new Raiders pass-game coordinator Scott Turner did coach Wentz as Commanders OC last season. Teddy Bridgewater resides as the other starter-caliber QB left in free agency. Ryan Tannehill could become an option, though the Titans making that move — one rumored earlier this year — could remove them from contention consideration this season.

Moving into elephant-in-the-room status by virtue of his agreement with Mark Davis to buy a piece of the Raiders, Tom Brady looms as well. But owners will need to approve the recently retired quarterback’s purchase. As was the case with the Brady-Dolphins rumors during his first retirement, they would be unlikely to do so if he returned to play. In fact, a league source informed Bonsignore that Brady’s Raiders stake could come with a provision he will only serve as an owner — and not a player — for the franchise.

The Raiders looked into Brady as a free agent — before retirement No. 2 — this offseason. Brady’s past with McDaniels would make him the top emergency solution for the Raiders, even ahead of an age-46 season. But owners were unlikely to approve Miami’s long-rumored Brady plan in which he would have served as a player and owner. Twenty-four “yes” votes will be required for Brady to buy a piece of the Raiders. That could be contingent on the 23-year veteran staying retired. Were Brady dead-set on making a second comeback, he could simply back out of his ownership agreement.

Absent that long-shot solution, the Raiders will need to hope Garoppolo can finish his latest rehab effort. But the team’s quarterback stability has taken a substantial hit this offseason.

Jimmy Garoppolo Not Yet Cleared From Foot Fracture

12:04pm: This unexpected delay stems from another surgery. Garoppolo spent months rehabbing his injured left foot but underwent surgery in March, Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic report (subscription required). While Garoppolo’s recovery timetable is unknown, this certainly explains why he is unavailable to start the Raiders’ on-field offseason work.

11:19am: Jimmy Garoppolo has failed to finish three of his past five seasons. The five-plus-year 49ers starter sustained his most recent injury — a fractured foot — in early December. The Raiders are not planning to rush him back.

The new Raiders quarterback has not yet received full clearance to return from the Jones fracture he suffered last season, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Josh McDaniels said Thursday the team has planned for this slow buildup, though Garoppolo may not take part in any on-field work until training camp (Twitter links).

Everything that’s happened since we signed Jimmy, we knew ahead of time,” McDaniels said. “… Certainly had an awareness of all of it. Our preference is not to push it and rush anybody back at this point in time.”

This news comes a few months after reports surfaced about Garoppolo potentially being able to return for a 49ers Super Bowl LVII appearance. Brock Purdy‘s UCL tear shut down those prospects quickly, and Garoppolo would have been in line to return as a backup in that instance. Caution makes sense for the Raiders regarding Garoppolo, given his extensive injury past, but it is a bit surprising he would need to be held out until training camp.

The Raiders gave Garoppolo a three-year, $72.75MM deal and, despite meeting with the draft’s top five quarterback prospects, did not select a QB on the first two days. The team added former McDaniels charge Brian Hoyer and used a fourth-round pick on Aidan O’Connell. Garoppolo being out of the mix until late summer would allow his backups more work, but he has not endured a setback in his recovery, McDaniels said. The Raiders are expecting the 10th-year veteran to be ready to begin the season on time.

Garoppolo needing additional offseason recovery time represents familiar territory. He was in this boat last year, after undergoing shoulder surgery. Garoppolo’s March 2022 procedure effectively squashed his trade prospects, leading to an agreement to stay in San Francisco. The 49ers turned out to need their longtime passer, with Trey Lance going down in Week 2. Garoppolo kept the reins until his Jones fracture during a Dec. 4 game against the Dolphins.

In the days immediately following Garoppolo’s foot injury, uncertainty emerged regarding a potential late-season return. Kyle Shanahan did not express much optimism Garoppolo would come back, but the 49ers did not place him on IR. Reportedly facing a seven- or eight-week recovery timetable, Garoppolo did not undergo surgery and rehabbed for a possible return. The veteran passer did not make it back to practice in the final days of his Bay Area stay, and it appears he will have more time than expected before returning to full on-field work.

The Raiders ended their nine-season Derek Carr partnership in February and guaranteed Garoppolo $33.75MM in March. While Carr delivered a middling run as the Silver and Black’s starter, he did offer durability. Garoppolo does not. Counting the 49ers’ three playoff games in January, the 31-year-old passer has missed 33 games due to injury since suffering an ACL tear in September 2018. Garoppolo played every game for the Super Bowl LIV-bound 49ers team a year later but suffered an ankle injury that shortened his 2020 season to six games. San Francisco’s starter battled calf, thumb and shoulder maladies in 2021, needing two surgeries coming out of that season.

Raiders Rumors: Adams, Renfrow, OL

Shortly after the Raiders’ plan to separate from Derek Carr surfaced, Davante Adams indicated he was not planning to make an effort to follow his ex-college teammate out the door. Adams is signed through 2026 on what is still the NFL’s second-most lucrative receiver deal. The Raiders have made some changes this offseason, most notably replacing Carr with Jimmy Garoppolo. Adams made some cryptic comments about the franchise’s direction this week.

[The front office] thinks this is the best bet for us right now to put us in a position to be urgent,” Adams said regarding the team’s offensive vision, via The Ringer’s Mirin Fader. “We don’t see eye-to-eye on what we think is best for us right now. … I’m going to have to buy into this and try to be as optimistic as possible. It’s not what I expected to happen, but it’s something that’s the reality now.”

Rumored to be potentially kept in the loop regarding the Raiders’ big-picture decisions, Adams expressed hesitancy regarding his fit with Garoppolo. The veteran quarterback is tied to the Raiders through at least 2023, due to his $33.75MM guarantee, and may well be a multiyear Las Vegas starter, seeing as the team did not draft a quarterback.

It all depends on the style of ball that we play,” Adams said. “If we play a certain brand of ball, I can get [Garoppolo] to conform to whatever. But if we use him a certain type of way, then it’s going to make it tough for us to maximize who we should be this year.”

For what it’s worth, Adams shared a photo with GM Dave Ziegler after that interview surfaced. Adams, who will turn 31 later this year, earned his third straight first-team All-Pro honor last season. He will team with Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow and UFA addition Jakobi Meyers as Garoppolo’s lead supporting cast. Here is the latest out of Vegas:

  • While Ziegler and Josh McDaniels signed off on Renfrow’s two-year, $32MM extension during the 2022 offseason, the veteran slot player delivered underwhelming early returns in McDaniels’ system. After Renfrow’s 1,038-yard 2021 showing helped drive the Raiders into the playoffs, he managed just 330 in 10 games last year. Since giving Renfrow that extension, the Raiders have signed Meyers to an $11MM-per-year deal and drafted slot target Tre Tucker in Round 3. Pegging the odds of Renfrow being elsewhere by 2024 as “90%,” The Athletic’s Vic Tafur notes he joined Darren Waller in being a poor fit for McDaniels’ offense (subscription required). McDaniels also cut down on Renfrow’s route improvisations, which were encouraged under Jon Gruden. Trading Renfrow in 2024 (when his base salary spikes to $11.2MM) would save the Raiders $8MM.
  • The Raiders have surprisingly made it to mid-May without adding a starter-caliber outside free agent on their offensive line. That might not be the case by training camp. Citing the team’s potential to add a veteran guard or tackle, Tafur adds he would be “shocked” if Alex Bars remained the team’s right guard starter. Pro Football Focus rated Bars, a former Bears UDFA, as the Raiders’ worst starting O-lineman by a wide margin last season. Guard Dalton Risner remains unsigned, as do Rodger Saffold, Pat Elflein, A.J. Cann and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Longtime Raider Gabe Jackson, whom Gruden traded to the Seahawks in 2021, is also available. The Raiders also showed interest in Paris Johnson, per Tafur. Although the Cardinals discussed a deal with the Raiders for the No. 7 pick, Arizona moving ahead of Vegas for No. 6 (to take Johnson) makes sense.
  • The team re-signed right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor but also brought back 2021 right tackle starter Brandon Parker, who missed last year with an injury. Eluemunor will also be a candidate to slide to guard, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore, after having played there in the past. That would be an internal way to upgrade from Bars. Second-year tackle Thayer Munford and Justin Herron, one of many ex-Patriots in Vegas, stand to factor in for the RT gig.

Packers Sought Russell Wilson-Type Haul For Aaron Rodgers; Jets Debated Stronger Derek Carr Push

Aaron Rodgers has begun attending Jets offseason workouts, but it took an extensive process for the Packers to move him off their roster. The teams had different goals when they begun negotiations.

The Packers initially sought a trade package comparable to the haul the Seahawks received for Russell Wilson or the Lions picked up for Matthew Stafford, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports. But with Rodgers moving out of the picture in Green Bay, the Jets were never expected to pay what it would have likely cost the Broncos (or another suitor) to pry Rodgers from the Packers in 2021 or ’22. Still, the lag time between the first Rodgers-related discussion between Packers GM Brian Gutekunst and Jets counterpart Joe Douglas — in January, when the latter represented the only interested party among those Gutekunst contacted — led to some uncertainty.

Just before Derek Carr committed to the Saints, Jets brass debated if they should make a stronger push for the longtime Raiders quarterback, Costello adds. The Jets hosted Carr in February and met with him again at the Combine. Though, Gang Green viewed the 10th-year veteran as its Rodgers backup plan throughout the process. With the Jets not knowing until March 12 Rodgers was even planning to play in 2023, they saw their top backup plan vanish when Carr signed with the Saints on March 6.

Shortly after the Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett as OC — a move widely rumored to be a Rodgers-related decision — Robert Saleh instructed his staff to study Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Tannehill, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes. The former 49ers starter surfaced as a Jets option, while the longtime Titans first-stringer has been involved in trade rumors this year. But the Jets waited out Rodgers and received confirmation, via the four-time MVP’s agent contacting Douglas, his client was onboard with the Jets.

The Packers could have obtained more in a trade for Rodgers had they unloaded him in 2021 or ’22, but Jordan Love had not progressed to the point the team was ready to roll with the former No. 26 overall pick. Gutekunst sought to tell Rodgers the Packers planned to field a younger roster this season and make moves to help their salary cap, per Breer, with this meaning Rodgers favorites Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis would not be back. (Cobb is now a Jet, with Lewis potentially on the team’s radar.) Of course, Gutekunst and Rodgers never got around to a meeting regarding his future. The parties had multiple January meetings in California scheduled, Breer adds; neither came to fruition. Gutekunst dealt with Rodgers’ agent during the trade talks.

As for the trade price, one of the Jets’ counterproposals — during the sides’ off-and-on talks — involved a 2025 Packers second-round pick coming back in the event Rodgers did not return in 2024. The March Rodgers-Jets summit did not involve discussion about how much longer Rodgers would play, though that later became an understandable component of the Jets’ trade push. Instead of the Jets receiving a 2025 second from the Packers — in the event Rodgers retires after this season — the teams agreed on the deal that included the 2024 first-rounder being a conditional pick and not a locked-in 1, Breer adds. That said, Rodgers has only failed to play 65% of his team’s offensive snaps twice in his 15-year starter run. It represents a fairly safe bet the Jets will send the Packers their 2024 first-rounder in this swap.

Rather than the 65% figure, the Jets wanted to tie the 2024 draft choice to team placement, per Breer. But the Packers did this in the Brett Favre trade 15 years ago; the Green Bay icon’s biceps injury ended up leading the Jets out of the playoff race and reducing the Pack’s compensation to a 2009 third-rounder. With Packers president Mark Murphy involved in both negotiations, the Packers did not relent on a refusal to tie the pick to the Jets’ 2023 record.

Douglas was a bit leery about a potential post-draft suitor emerging as an alternative for Rodgers, Breer adds. The Jets had lost Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in a two-team race last year. The All-Pro wideout was nearly a Jet, but when the Dolphins entered the fray, Miami became Hill’s preferred destination. This helped provide the impetus for the Jets to complete the deal by the draft, even as no other teams were closely connected to Rodgers this offseason.

The 2023 pick-swap component also did not enter the negotiations until late. That turned out to matter, with many believing the Jets were prepared to draft tackle Broderick Jones in Round 1. The Steelers moved up three spots, from No. 17 to No. 14, to prevent that from happening. New York selected edge rusher Will McDonald with its Green Bay-obtained No. 15 pick. The Packers chose Iowa pass rusher Lukas Van Ness at 13.

Raiders Still Considering First-Round QB?

Even after adding veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo earlier this offseason, the Raiders are still considering a rookie QB. We heard earlier this week that the organization was eyeing projected second-round quarterback Hendon Hooker, but the front office is also keeping their options open in the first round. General manager Dave Ziegler told reporters that the Raiders “haven’t ruled anything out” in regards to a first-round QB.

“Having Jimmy does supply us with a very high-quality starting player at the position. And so, we feel comfortable with that,” Ziegler said (via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal). “But I think to close that door and say that’s not something you would do because of X, Y and Z. That’s not the business we’re in.

“…Any time you can find a young player at that position that’s going to have an impact on your team, you have to keep an open mind to that.”

As Bonsignore writes, the Raiders “were as active as any team in the NFL” when it came to evaluating quarterback prospects. Currently sitting with the No. 7 pick, the Raiders could even move up the draft board in pursuit of their preferred player. The Raiders are armed with selections in each round of the draft, including extra picks in the third, fifth, sixth, and seventh.

However, the Raiders might not even have to make a trade. If the Cardinals keep their pick (coupled with the possibility that the Texans could pivot away from a rookie QB at No. 2), then the Raiders may find that one of Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis falls to them at No. 7. Further, thanks to the addition of Garoppolo, the Raiders are in no rush to add a player at the position, and a rookie QB would surely be redshirted behind the Raiders’ free agent acquisition for at least the 2023 campaign.

The Raiders have plenty of holes on defense, so even if a QB does fall to No. 7, there’s still a chance the front office goes for a player who could contribute now. In that scenario, the front office could make a push for Hooker. The Tennessee product visited the Raiders earlier this month and are believed to have been impressed with the prospect. Coming off a November ACL tear, Hooker isn’t expected to be a serious option for the organization with the seventh-overall pick.