Is Aidan O’Connell the future of the Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterback position?
Well, all we can really count on is he is the future of the position for the next nine games. Then, all bets will be off.
There is very likely to be a new coaching staff in place in about two-plus months after owner Mark Davis’ sudden decision to fire head coach McDaniels (general manager Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi were let go as well).
If O’Connell, a fourth-round pick from Purdue, performs well in the final nine games, then the new staff will likely consider him. But there are no guarantees.
Going into this season, McDaniels completely reset the quarterback room by signing Jimmy Garoppolo to be the starter, signing veteran Brian Hoyer and drafting O’Connell. All three quarterbacks have started, at least, one game for the 3-5 Raiders and the results haven’t been good.
Reportedly, O’Connell is getting the call as the new starter beginning Sunday at home against the New York Giants. It’s not surprising. Garoppolo has been horrible as he leads the NFL with nine interceptions despite missing 2.5 games due to injury.
The fact that the wholesale quarterback change hasn’t worked played a part in McDaniels’ demise after they cut former starter Derek Carr and let Jarrett Stidham go to Denver in free agency.
Now, perhaps a successful O’Connell will end up[ being one of the best parts of the McDaniels’ era. But we shall see.
The truth is Garoppolo (who has more than $28 million in dead money if cut next year and $11.5 million in guaranteed money in 2-24) is likely going to be one-and-done in Las Vegas. The new regime will likely try to draft a quarterback or bring a bridge quarterback in.
O’Connell can change that plan and that will be the focal point of the rest of this season.