Raiders release QBs Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer and others in cap-saving move

Jimmy Garoppolo and Hunter Renfrow were among the four players the Las Vegas Raiders released Wednesday.

The Raiders officially announced the decision to part ways with the quarterback and wide receiver on the first day of the new league year. In doing so, Las Vegas cleared up $19 million in salary-cap space. Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and defensive tackle Jerry Tillery were the other two players who were let go.

The writing was on the wall for Garoppolo after the Raiders reportedly reached a two-year, $25 million agreement with free-agent quarterback Gardner Minshew on Monday. Should Las Vegas not find its quarterback in the upcoming draft, then Minshew provides competition for Aidan O'Connell. The rookie replaced Garoppolo as the starter when head coach Antonio Pierce took over following former head coach Josh McDaniels' firing in October.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warms up before an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was released with several other players on Wednesday to help clear up cap space. (AP Photo/John Locher) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

This closes the one-year chapter for Garoppolo as Raiders quarterback, and it comes nearly a year after he signed a three-year, $72.75 million deal — $33.75 million guaranteed — as a free agent last offseason.

It was a year to forget for the 10-year veteran, who registered career lows in completion percentage (65.1), passer rating (77.7) and QBR (34.2), all for a minimum of six games played. Garoppolo's career ended similar to how it began with Las Vegas.

When the 32-year-old signed with the team, his contract couldn't become viable until he passed a physical. At the time, he needed left foot surgery. During the season, Garoppolo sustained a concussion and dealt with a back injury that limited him to only seven games, 1,205 passing yards and nine interceptions, which paced the NFL at the time of his benching.

Garoppolo's release comes days before his $11.25 million roster bonus was due. Las Vegas also got to save the guaranteed $11.25 million base salary he was owed, thanks to the two-game suspension he received from the NFL as a result of violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy.

"I just want to get back to playing, honestly," Garoppolo said during exit interviews. "That's why I play this game. ... I love to win. Honestly, what I think I'm here for is just to go out there and get wins. As a football player, it's something you've got to embrace. Not everyone wants that. Some people just want statistics and things like that. I really just want to go out there and win. I really enjoy doing it. That's what we're here for."

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) warms up before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is now a free agent after the Raiders released him Wednesday. (AP Photo/John Locher) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Renfrow's release comes two years after the slot receiver was elected to his first Pro Bowl. That season, he hauled in 103 catches for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. Las Vegas subsequently signed him to a two-year, $32 million extension, with $21 million guaranteed, that offseason.

But in 2022 and 2023, Renfrow's numbers took a nosedive, and he finished with a combined 61 passes for 585 yards and two touchdowns.

"Raider Nation, thank you for welcoming me and my family in the last 5 years," Renfrow said on X. "From Oakland to Vegas it felt like home. I wouldn't be the person I am today without my teammates and coaches inspiring me every single day. 5 years went by quick...... 'Once a Raider Always a Raider.'"