The Silver & Black have now entered “bridge” category. This is a byproduct of Tom Brady hanging up the cleats on Wednesday morning leaving a potential quarterback option for the Las Vegas Raiders a moot point.
There are options still out there for the Raiders conundrum, so all isn’t lost. But at this point, without the GOAT no longer in the mix, things get quite interesting for Las Vegas. Lot of “could” and “what if” scenarios are in play.
For example, the team can seek to re-sign Jarrett Stidham to compete the starting gig. The brain trust of general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels can decide the two-game audition wasn’t enough and Stidham warrants another long hard look.
Or the Raiders could draft a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. That’s a long-term outlook I highlighted as a prudent move.
However, if Stidham is re-upped to vie for the starting quarterback spot, bringing in veteran Jacoby Brissett to compete for the job makes sense for the Raiders, for a variety of reasons.
First, competition brings out the best in players — namely quarterbacks. Brissett, who is 30 years old, comes with plenty of experience under his belt starting 48 of the 76 games. He sports a 61.1 percent career-completion percentage for 10,350 yards, 48 touchdowns and 23 interceptions over seven seasons.
Brissett was the fill-in starter for the Cleveland Browns this past season going 4-7 and completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran 49 times for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Brissett’s 18-30 win-loss record in those 48 starts isn’t appealing, yet, aren’t folk apt to say those type of records aren’t indicative of quarterback play?
Second, Brissett is familiar with McDaniels’ offense. He arrived to the NFL as a third-round pick (91st overall) by the New England Patriots in the 2016 draft, thus spending camp learning McDaniels’ offense. He was forced into action that season playing in three games (starting two) and went 34 of 55 (61.9 completion rate) for 400 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He added 83 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Brissett has a live arm, is accurate, uses his legs to move the chains, and most importantly, takes care of the football — all ideal traits for the Raiders offense under McDaniels guidance.
“Brissett ranked 10th among quarterbacks in EPA per play with the eighth-highest average depth of target. That could fit better with some of the vertical elements McDaniels added to the Las Vegas offense in 2022,” Sharp Football Analysis’ Dan Pizzuta wrote when examining where Brady’s retirement leaves teams likes the Raiders.
Third, Brissett isn’t going to be an expensive add. He inked a one-year $4.65 million deal with the Browns in free agency last offseason ($4.5 million guaranteed), which is quite cheap compared to the going rate for quarterbacks. He’ll likely command more than Stidham based on time and production in the league. For example, Over The Cap has Stidham’s valuation at $2.483 million compared to Brissett’s $19.388 million valuation.
There’s a fourth reason here, but it’s based on the Raiders adding another signal caller via the upcoming draft. Whether Las Vegas spends a early-round, mid-round or late-round pick on a quarterback in April, a competition of Brissett and Stidham for QB1 allows the Raiders to develop a neophyte signal caller in the wings. That could portend to the Raiders taking a developmental type if the top-tier quarterbacks are already taken. Or, if Las Vegas is bold enough and trades up to snag a prospect, a competition between that rookie, Stidham and Brissett will bring out the best in everyone which would be a boon for the Silver & Black.