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Raiders agree to terms with QB Gardner Minshew on two-year, $25M contract

Gardner Minshew's efforts to keep the Colts afloat in 2023 have earned him a new opportunity and a hefty raise in 2024.

The veteran quarterback is signing a two-year, $25 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Monday. Minshew's new contract includes $15 million in fully guaranteed money, per Pelissero.

After playing an unexpected role of starter in Indianapolis for most of 2023, Minshew will arrive in Las Vegas with one goal in mind: win the competition with Aidan O'Connell for the starting job. O'Connell returns as the Raiders' incumbent starter, but ascended to that role only after then-interim coach Antonio Pierce benched Jimmy Garoppolo for the rookie from Purdue.

O'Connell performed relatively well, posting a 5-5 record as a starter and helping the Raiders remain competitive on a weekly basis amid a tumultuous 2023 campaign. He finished with a 12-7 TD-INT ratio, completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,218 yards and posted a respectable 83.9 passer rating in his first season, opening the door for a chance to earn the job again entering 2024.

The Raiders were always expected to bring in competition for O'Connell, though, and that arrives in the form of Minshew, a plus backup who has proven to be a good enough starter to avoid sinking the offensive ship singlehandedly. Minshew doesn't provide a very high ceiling for a team, but as he proved when he took over for rookie Anthony Richardson (following his season-ending shoulder injury) in 2023, he can help a talented team remain competitive in most games. He finished 2023 with a 7-6 record as a starter, completing 62.2 percent of his passes for 3,305 yards and a 15-9 TD-INT ratio, keeping the Colts in the fight for the AFC South through the final week of the season.

If we're judging the two signal-callers by their final ranking in the QB Index, they're quite similar. Minshew finished 24th, while O'Connell landed three places behind him in 27th.

Both corners have their fighters. The card is set. We'll see if experience or untapped potential wins out in the Raiders' first full season under Pierce.

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