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Another QB? Steelers Floated as Good Fit for Jimmy Garoppolo

The Pittsburgh Steelers were named a landing spot for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be released by the Raiders.



Raiders QB Jimmy Garappolo Steelers
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The quarterback talk around the Pittsburgh Steelers will not end soon, with free agency still weeks away. Substantiative rumors have come out about the team’s interest in bringing Mason Rudolph back and the links to Ryan Tannehill. Still, meanwhile, other talk has surrounded far less likely options like Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, and Russell Wilson. If they go to the second tier of free agents, could Jimmy Garoppolo be an option? The Athletic likes the for the two sides.

“It sure seems like Justin Fields will be moving to Pittsburgh or Atlanta, but in case the Steelers don’t want to trade for the Chicago Bears hand-me-down, have we got an attractive, cheap option for them. Is he better than Kenny Pickett? Maybe,” they wrote.

Garoppolo feels like the right tier of guys the Steelers will be hunting in, and maybe the idea that he could come to Pittsburgh would be even likely, but Garoppolo has a two-game suspension to start the year looming over his head.

He is alleged to have used a prescription medication without obtaining a therapeutic use exemption from the NFL, causing the two-game ban, which will be served in 2024, as long as he is on an NFL roster.

The 32-year-old Garoppolo began the 2023 season as the Raiders’ starting quarterback after signing a three-year, $67.5 million contract to reunited him with coach Josh McDaniels, who had been his offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.

He lost his starting job with the Raiders after McDaniels was fired, with interim head coach Antonio Pierce choosing to lean on fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell. Garoppolo finished the season with 1,205 passing yards, seven touchdowns, nine interceptions and a career-low 77.7 passer rating.

Garoppolo is owed an $11.25 million roster bonus on March 17 that is guaranteed. His release will incur a $17.1 million dead cap hit for the Raiders, but clear $11.3 million in 2024 salary obligations. His suspension may allow the Raiders to avoid paying his guarantees.

Garoppolo will need to catch on with a team in order to serve his two-game suspension. After a down year and with a significant injury history, it is unlikely that he will get a job with much hopes of starting, though he could be among the list of quarterbacks the Steelers could look at to push Kenny Pickett this summer.