Should the Las Vegas Raiders bring in XFL star QB Luis Perez?
Fresh off a victory in the XFL Championship Game, can Luis Perez help solidify the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback room?
On Saturday, May 13th Luis Perez managed to lead the Arlington Renegades over the heavily favored DC Defenders in the XFL Championship Game. Perez was named the MVP of the game after putting up a strong performance against the best defense in the league. His playoff run hopefully will get the attention of the Las Vegas Raiders.
For the first time since 2013, a quarterback other than Derek Carr will lead the Raiders into the season. The fallout between coaches and Carr led to the Raiders’ all-time leader in passing yards making the move to the New Orleans Saints.
In his place, Las Vegas made the move to sign Jimmy Garoppolo who previously played under Josh McDaniels in New England. The addition of Garoppolo should help stabilize the coach/quarterback relationship, but it brings a new issue that, currently, the Raiders are not prepared for.
Unlike Carr, Garoppolo has missed a significant amount of time during his career due to injuries. He missed a total of 26 games since being traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders quarterback room is currently not ready for an extended injury.
The depth chart currently lists veteran Brian Hoyer as the backup. While Hoyer also has experience with McDaniels, he is currently sitting on a dubious record of 1-19 in his last 20 starts. Aidan O’Connell sits behind Hoyer on the depth chart after being drafted in the fourth round a couple of weeks ago. Last season’s undrafted rookie Chase Garbers finishes out the quarterback room.
Garbers spent most of last season on the practice squad.
The Raiders can not enter the 2023 season expecting Garoppolo to get injured; however, they need to be ready for it. Currently, their three backups include two players who haven’t played in an NFL game and a veteran who hasn’t won a game since 2016 as a starter.
Raiders could benefit by bringing in Perez
Luis Perez has shown the ability to not only be a leader but adapt to many different players and systems. Perez led Texas A&M Commerce to a national championship in Division II football in 2017 and won the Harlan Hill Trophy (Division II version of the Heisman). Since then, he has been signed by NFL, AAF, XFL, and USFL teams. In total, this includes three NFL teams, four XFL teams, and one USFL team.
Bouncing around from team to team might seem like a bad thing, but the spring leagues moved him around to ensure he had a chance to play. He is a talented quarterback who needed to be showcased in their leagues. After his performance in the XFL playoffs this season, it is clear that he is ready for the NFL.
In two playoff games, he threw for 577 yards with six touchdown passes. His completion percentage was 71.4, and he didn’t throw an interception. He did this against two of the best defenses in the XFL which were led by long-time NFL coaches Wade Phillips (Houston Roughnecks) and Gregg Williams (DC Defenders).
The Raiders need to take a good look at improving their quarterback room. This isn’t to say that Perez will surpass Garoppolo as the starter. That is a little too outlandish; however, he can easily cement a spot as the backup quarterback. His leadership, accuracy, and improvisation surpass everyone on the roster except Garoppolo. The Raiders need to address this issue, and Luis Perez can come in and compete for the back up spot day one.