1 player has 'slight edge' in Raiders QB battle: Insider

There's a quarterback on the Las Vegas Raiders who has the early edge for the starting job.
Gardner MInshew & Aidan O'Connell of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Gardner MInshew & Aidan O'Connell of the Las Vegas Raiders. / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback battle hasn't truly started yet but there could be a leader in the clubhouse already. Aidan O'Connell is coming back after starting 10 games last season while the team also brought in veteran Gardner Minshew to compete for the starting job.

Early signs would suggest that O'Connell has the lead right now, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

"O'Connell and Minshew in the spring went tit for tat; went after it. O'Connell probably has the slight edge right now based on coming into Year 2, being more vocal," Fowler said on SportsCenter, via Bleacher Report. "I'm told he's acting like a starting quarterback and Davante Adams loves him, which always helps certainly with the brownie points."

The Davante Adams note is interesting. He's the Raiders' best offensive player and has a longstanding relationship with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. If he thinks O'Connell is the better quarterback for the job, that will certainly help his chances of beating out Minshew.

While O'Connell might be taking the early lead, Fowler won't completely rule out Minshew yet.

"But Minshew has come in, shown some moxie. He's already got the offense, he's changing plays at the line of scrimmage, I'm told," Fowler said. "He's been good at the off-script stuff."

Minshew has a major experience advantage over O'Connell and the Raiders didn't pay him $25 million over two years for nothing. O'Connell should have the advantage early on considering he was with the team last season. The race won't truly get interesting until training camp and the preseason.

"It would be not surprising at all if both quarterbacks got a start in a preseason game," Fowler said. "Maybe they go O'Connell first game, Minshew the second game, depending on how the first couple weeks of camp go. And they'll get a legitimate chance, but we have ourselves a real battle in Las Vegas."

The Raiders definitely haven't made a decision yet and it's hard to imagine the team will announce a starting quarterback until really close to the start of the regular season.