Raiders GM Tom Telesco: Aidan O’Connell, Gardner Minshew will compete to be QB1

It’s a guessing game whether second-year QB Aidan O’Connell or veteran Gardner Minshew will be under center for the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season. 

On that note, Raiders general manager Tom Telesco confirmed that the two quarterbacks will compete to be the team’s starting signal-caller this summer.

“That’s the plan is to have both those guys really compete through the offseason program, but more so in training camp, and we’ll see how it plays out,” Telesco said about O’Connell and Minshew in an interview with NFL Network on Thursday. “I thought Aidan did an excellent job last year in a really difficult situation where the head coach changed, the coordinator changed, and he played really good football down the stretch. I’ve had a chance to be around him a little bit more in the building and you kind of see the quarterback intangibles that are there, which is nice to have, that you have to have as a franchise quarterback.

“And then with Gardner, you know, Gardner played well last year with the Colts. I mean, he was in the Pro Bowl, so obviously had a pretty good year. He’s always performed at a high level when he’s given that opportunity, so to have both those guys here competing for the job, we’ll see how it goes.”

O’Connell appeared in 11 games last year, making 10 starts in his rookie season. He totaled 2,218 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions and an 83.9 passer rating, while completing 62.1% of his passes. The Raiders went 5-5 in games that O’Connell started, ending an 8-9 season on a high note, most notably beating the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Week 16.

O’Connell was one of three quarterbacks to play for the Raiders last season, as Jimmy Garoppolo made six starts and Brian Hoyer made one.

Minshew signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the Raiders in March. He spent 2023 with the Indianapolis Colts, beginning the season as rookie quarterback Anthony Richardon’s backup. That said, a series of injuries to Richardson put Minshew in the spotlight, as he appeared in all 17 regular-season games and started 13.

The veteran Minshew finished the 2023 season with 3,305 passing yards, 15 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions and an 84.6 passer rating, while completing 62.2% of his passes. The Colts went 7-6 with Minshew under center and finished the season 9-8, missing the playoffs by one game. 

Prior to his one-year stint with the Colts, Minshew, 27, started 20 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2019-20 and four games for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2021-22.

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