Recently traded first-round pick reportedly had interest in quarterbacking Las Vegas Raiders in 2024

Las Vegas Raiders, Justin Fields
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

After making the decision to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, the Las Vegas Raiders prioritized finding a veteran replacement in free agency. GM Tom Telesco decided to sign Gardner Minshew III to a two-year, $25 million contract to compete with Aidan O’Connell for the starting quarterback job in 2024.

Yet, there’s still a strong sense the Raiders aren’t done adding to their quarterback room. While Anthony Brown Jr. remains as the third quarterback, the team may want to add someone with more upside, such as a draft prospect who can develop into a future starter, even if it’s not immediate.

Justin Fields had Las Vegas Raiders trade on his radar

However, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, the Raiders may have had a chance to add a young QB via trade earlier this offseason.

“Chicago, intending to move the three-year starter as it prepared to select a quarterback with the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, was willing to give Fields some say in his next destination. The Steelers were one of four teams on Fields’ radar prior to the start of free agency, along with the Vikings, Raiders and Falcons, a source familiar with Fields’ thinking said.”

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor on Justin Fields’ interest in Las Vegas Raiders

Fields, 25, was the 11th overall pick in 2021. While he hasn’t quite developed his passing skills enough, some have questioned whether the Chicago Bears are more to blame for not surrounding him with more talent along the offensive line and in the receiving corps.

At the low rate he was traded for (conditional 6th-round pick that can improve to a 4th-round pick if he plays 51% of 2024 snaps), the Raiders may have been better off taking a chance on Fields for the upcoming season than where they are right now. Then again, if Fields didn’t develop any further in Vegas, he’d just become a free agent next offseason, leaving the Raiders without a better option on the roster.

By signing Minshew, it seemingly keeps the Raiders’ options open with the 13th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Yet, they still could have considered other first-round quarterbacks even with Fields on the roster, setting up a competition between two highly-touted prospects plus O’Connell.

Ultimately the Raiders decided to inject a veteran into their young quarterback room instead of adding another unproven option in Fields. It’s not a bad decision, but if the Raiders strike out on adding a QB in the upcoming draft class, they could look back on this situation with regret.

Related: See where Gardner Minshew lands in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB rankings

Related: Las Vegas Raiders mock draft 2024: Building the team and finding a QB

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