On Valentine's Day in 2023, the Las Vegas Raiders decided to part ways with nine-year starting quarterback Derek Carr. During his time with the Raiders, Carr set nearly every passing record in team history, though the fan base was mostly divded when it came to him due to the fact the team made the playoffs only twice during his run as the starter.
In the offseason, Josh McDaniels, looking to bring in his own guy, added veteran Jimmy Garoppolo to the Raiders via free agency. The thought was that he could bring some stability to the position while the team looked for a long-term solution, but it was pretty obvious early on that the plan was not going to work.
Garoppolo struggled to stay on the field, and when he was healthy, he was unable to play with consistency. That led to interim head coach Antonio Pierce to make a switch to Aidan O'Connell after he took over, and while it could have been because of the contract aspect of Jimmy G's deal, the truth is, the Raiders now go into another offseason with question marks at the most important position in sports.
On the other side of the coin, Tampa Bay also added a veteran quarterback this offseason in Baker Mayfield, and while the Raiders ended up starting three different guys at the position, Mayfield ended up starting all 16 games so far this season.
Mayfield has the Buccaneers in position to win the NFC South, a division that has Carr in it with the New Orleans Saints if they can win on Sunday. All told, he has nearly 4,000 yards this season with 28 touchdowns against ten interceptions, and is playing some of his best football of his career.
With free agency looming for him, should the Raiders make him priority No. 1 at the position this offseason?
Raiders should call Mayfield immediately this offseason
Mayfield is still only 28-years old, and should have a lot of good football left in him. In addition, he also has the kind of flare for the game that would make him a fan favorite in Las Vegas, as he is not afraid of big moments, and can be a consistent quarterback as long as he can stay healthy.
Left for dead last season, Mayfield bounced back with the Los Angeles Rams, going into Las Vegas and beating the Raiders without even knowing the playbook. Get him with the right offensive coordinator, and with the weapons currently on the Las Vegas roster, he would flourish in the desert.
The Raiders have a lot of decisions to make this offseason, but none bigger than what they plan to do at general manager, head coach, and of course, quarterback. Mayfield may not be No. 1 on everybody's list right now, but at the right price, would be a perfect quarterback for this next era of Raiders football if available.