As we get back into the swing of things after the Memorial Day weekend, let’s dig into the big news of the weekend.
In a time when it is normally quiet on the NFL news front, Pro Football Talk reported a bombshell Saturday night, reporting that Jimmy Garoppolo failed his physical in March and and had a waiver written into his re-arranged contract stating the Las Vegas Raiders won’t owe him anything if he isn’t ready for the start of the season.
This story came two days after Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels said Garoppolo is missing OTAs and probably won’t be ready until training camp, which isn’t great for a quarterback joining a new team.
Shortly after McDaniels’ announcement, The Athletic reported Garoppolo had surgery after he was signed by the Raiders. Thus, after Garoppolo and the team agreed to terms, it was discovered that he was still having issues in his foot stemming from a Dec. 3, 2022 injury he suffered as the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers that ended his season.
Let’s look at some key aspects of the story:
It’s probably not a big deal:
Yes, this was jarring news. It’s completely unusual that news breaks two months after a major signing that the deal could still blow up and it’s particularly unusual that it is happening at the most important position in all of sports. But this is really all about an insurance policy of sorts. Las Vegas expects the Garoppolo timeline to be that he’ll be ready for training camp. If the Raiders thought this was a year-long issue they wouldn’t have proceeded with the contract. So, yes, the worst-case scenario is that the Raiders decide that they have to move on from Garoppolo, but that seems unlikely. So, this whole waiver issue will likely become moot.
We have to watch and see if Tom Brady and the Raiders delay him officially becoming a minority owner of the team. When it becomes official, it will make it difficult for him to play again. Brady will turn 46 in August and he may be completely done with his playing career. But if Garoppolo can’t go and the Raiders are in a bad spot, Brady, who is now basically a part of the franchise, could easily step into the role if he isn’t an owner. So, at this point, he hovers over this situation.
A reminder of overall uneasiness:
Again, this is probably going to work itself out, but there are some bad vibes connected to this. It’s a reminder that Garoppolo has a concerning injury history. He’s only played a full season once. It also reminds us of the rocky start by this regime. Maybe they should have targeted a different quarterback rather than jumping into a deal with Jimmy G. an hour into the legal tampering period.
Not much else out there:
Other than Garoppolo, the Raiders have Brian Hoyer, rookie Aidan O’Connell and Chase Garbers in the quarterback room. Yeah, that’s not great. The current free agent market isn’t encouraging, either. So, the Raiders could be in dire straits if Garoppolo’s foot doesn’t heal correctly.