5 Raiders playing for their jobs in Week 18

Could 2024 look that much different?
Las Vegas Raiders, Aidan O'Connell
Las Vegas Raiders, Aidan O'Connell / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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5. Aidan O'Connell, QB

Finally, it has to begin and end with the quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo was originally signed to be this team's starter, however, the Raiders have turned to rookie Aidan O'Connell over the latter half of the season.

The former Purdue Boilermaker has done more than enough to earn his keep as a backup, at the very least. But, there are still plenty of questions as to whether he can be the long-term solution, here. If the Raiders release Garoppolo, they essentially break even between the cap hit and dead money in 2024. It seems like they will wind up doing just that, leaving O'Connell on the roster.

But, with a pick likely coming in the top-15 of the 2024 NFL Draft, Las Vegas very well could be in on one of the top quarterbacks of the class. O'Connell has has a 3-game stretch going where he's thrown a total of six touchdowns, zero picks and has been sacked just five times. Sandwiched in there was a game where he didn't do much against the Chiefs, but still got the win and didn't throw an interception.

In the season finale against the Broncos, O'Connell needs a strong showing. If he wants a shot at the starting gig next season, he has to lead the team to a win, first and foremost, pushing his team's draft position further down the first round. But, for the sake of his job in 2024, O'Connell has to go out with a bang.