New head coach Antonio Pierce wants to be aggressive in landing a new QB, and owner Mark Davis grilled GM candidates during the search process on how to trade up from No. 13 to get one.
As Davis told NFL.com at Super Bowl Opening Night in Las Vegas: “The quarterback is probably the most important players on the field, so you’ve got to ask the GM, what is their vision? It’s an important question.”
It’s no secret Pierce has a relationship with Jayden Daniels, whom he recruited to Arizona State, and could be interested in a reunion.
But trading up is easier said than done, especially when the teams drafting 1-2-3 all have an urgent QB need. The Raiders haven’t even done a deep dive yet on any of the incoming rookies. They’re still finalizing their offensive staff under new OC Luke Getsy. And they recently hired an experienced general manager, Tom Telesco, who traded up just once in the first round in his 11 years as Chargers GM (for running back Melvin Gordon in 2015) and believes in letting the board fall to him, as it did when he took Justin Herbert at No. 6 overall in 2020. No general manager usually want to make a big move to land a promising young QB and then end up with no resources to build around him.
Aidan O’Connell started 10 games as a rookie in 2023 and exhibited poise under challenging circumstances, throwing for 12 touchdowns with seven interceptions as Las Vegas went 5-5.
The new regime also has to figure out what to do with veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, who has $11.25 million fully guaranteed in 2024 and also is due an $11.25 million roster bonus on March 17, providing a deadline for possibly working something out or just moving on.