The Denver Broncos are likely going to be searching for a franchise QB in the 2024 offseason, and they'll also need a bridge QB as well. Right now, I think the favorite to be a bridge/stopgap QB in 2024 is current backup, Jarrett Stidham. Stidham is going to get the final two games of the 2023 NFL Season to put some good football on tape.
And I think at this point, it's likely that the Denver Broncos cut Russell Wilson at the beginning of the 2024 NFL league year and will search for a long-term QB. Well, if the Broncos still want to remain competitive in 2024 even with a bridge QB option under center and a rookie, they might have the perfect target when he is likely released from his current team.
Las Vegas Raiders' QB Jimmy Garoppolo might just be the perfect QB for the Broncos in 2024 to pair with a rookie signal caller. Let's start from the beginning here.
Garoppolo was originally selected in the 2014 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He was selected to eventually replace Tom Brady in New England, but that never happened, as he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers and served as their QB from 2017-2022. In 57 regular season games for the 49ers, Garoppolo tossed 82 TDs, 42 INTs and earned a passer rating of 99.2.
He also has a 4-2 playoff record and has played in a Super Bowl before. The biggest issues with Garopplo are his injury concerns and his up and down play, but we've seen him play extremely efficiently before, mostly all in Kyle Shanahan's offenses with the 49ers. He signed with the Raiders this offseason and reunited with Josh McDaniels, but he was benched earlier in the season and is surely not returning to the team in 2024.
His current contract pays him nearly $25 million per season, and that simply is not a number that any team will acquire him for. He's tossed more interceptions than touchdowns this year. The Raiders will likely cut him this year as they turn the page with an interim HC and GM.
Well, perhaps Garoppolo, at this point in his career, acknowledges that he isn't going to be a franchise QB for a team for an extended period of time; he's 32 years old and has played a full season just once. Honestly, he's the perfect bridge QB for the Denver Broncos. Broncos Twitter legend XanB21 is also a fan of Garoppolo, and here is what he had to say about the QB:
Jimmy Garopplo is not an out-of-structure player like Russell Wilson, and that is perfect for Sean Payton. Like Payton's offenses, Kyle Shanahan's offenses are very much based on rhythm and timing. For years in SF, Garoppolo excelled at simply getting the ball to his playmakers as they maximized their YAC opportunities.
Garoppolo is someone who can excel in a dropback offense, which is something Wilson simply could not do for Denver in 2023. There's also the interesting injury-prone nature of Garoppolo. If the Broncos were to sign Jimmy G, they'd also likely pair him up with a rookie QB at some point in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Well, an interesting angle to look at the injury side of things is when/if Garoppolo needs to miss games with injury, that could give the rookie QB valuable reps during the season. And you never know, maybe the rookie QB is ready to go by Week 5. Do you see what I mean here? The injuries that Garoppolo has endured has given backup QBs a ton of reps, so you'd have to thing that his injury history would continue in Denver.
Maybe Garoppolo sprains an ankle in Week 6 of the 2024 season. Maybe that sprained ankle keeps him out for three weeks, only to see the backup, rookie QB play well enough to keep the job. Obviously, I am not rooting for Garoppolo to get injured in Denver, but it's a unique angle to look at this situation.
One final point here is that both Sean Payton and Jimmy Garoppolo went to Eastern Illinois, so they share the same college, too.