Examining Raiders’ best option at QB if Aaron Rodgers retires

If Aaron Rodgers retires, the Raiders should select a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, not overpay a free agent.

Rodgers has not officially announced if he’s playing in 2023. “I’m still in the art of contemplation about my future…after my four-day isolation retreat, I’ll be ready to make my decision,” he said Tuesday on the “Pat McAfee Show.”

After Tom Brady’s retirement, Rodgers appears to be the Raiders’ plan B. Per Oddschecker, Las Vegas is favored to land Rodgers, assuming the Packers trade him. 

However, it’s time to draft a QB and forget free agency in a Rodgers-retirement scenario.

Outside of Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson — who is likely “headed for the franchise tag,” per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley — the 2023 free-agent QB class lacks a Derek Carr upgrade. 

Carr has more Pro Bowl appearances (four) than free agents like Daniel Jones, Taylor Heinicke and Mike White, who have zero.

Jimmy Garoppolo is an attractive option since he played under Raiders HC Josh McDaniels for three seasons in New England and has a winning starting record (40-17).

Garoppolo, recovering from a broken foot, has played just one full season in six years with the 49ers. Per Spotrac, his market value is a four-year deal worth $34.9M in annual salary, too much for an injury-prone player. 

The 2023 NFL Draft includes Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, a two-time Heisman finalist. Per a Pro Football Focus mock draft, the Raiders will select Stroud with the seventh overall pick. 

“Stroud might be the best fit of all the QBs with McDaniels,” wrote PFF’s Marcus Mosher. “He can win in the pocket with accuracy.”

It is disappointing to miss out on a four-time league MVP, but the Raiders possibly finding the future franchise cornerstone inspires optimism. 

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