Steelers doomsday Kenny Pickett replacement just became available

Jimmy Garoppolo is likely to be released by the Las Vegas Raiders after violating the NFL's PED policy. Could the Steelers pick him up?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Las Vegas Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to release Jimmy Garoppolo after he violated the NFL's Performance Enhancing Substances policy. Garoppolo was suspended two games as a result. Because of his suspension, the Raiders can void his 2024 guarantee of just over $11 million.

Garoppolo won't have an easy time finding a new team this time around. Back when he was available for trade with the San Francisco 49ers in 2022, the Steelers were one of several teams interested before he eventually was released and signed on with the Raiders. Pittsburgh instead went with Mitch Trubisky, which was a mistake, but perhaps not compared to the price they would have paid for Jimmy G.

Garoppolo struggled to stay healthy in Vegas which limited his starts and comfort in Josh McDaniels offense. He was eventually benched in favor of Aidan O'Connell, who is expected to get a chance to earn starter's snaps in training camp under now full-time head coach Antonio Pierce.

Could Jimmy Garoppolo find a new home with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Garoppolo coming to Pittsburgh on a cheap contract is a bad idea for several reasons. First, it hands Kenny Pickett the starting quarterback job out of training camp without the Pitt product having earned that title.

Pickett hasn't performed well enough to earn the nod without a camp battle just yet. If he beats out a bridge QB in the process, great. However, Garoppolo is suspended the first two games of the season, so there's nothing for him to battle for besides backup reps.

Signing a player of Garoppolo's stature may also limit the possibility of Pittsburgh selecting another young QB in the middle rounds. A developmental project who can play on the practice squad or as the team's emergency QB option would be ideal. However, that same player being forced into the backup role isn't something the Steelers, a notoriously conservative organization, would be comfortable with.

The Steelers were interested in Garoppolo once before, and now he'd come at a cheaper price tag. It's something worth considering for Omar Khan, but a looming nightmare for fans.

Ryan Tannehill and Mason Rudolph are far better choices.

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