Source: Rams ink Garoppolo to back up Stafford



The Los Angeles Rams are signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a one-year contract to be Matthew Stafford’s backup, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

The Las Vegas Raiders released Garoppolo on Wednesday, just one season after he signed a three-year, $72.75 million contract with the franchise.

He is suspended for the first two games of the 2024 season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The violation was said to be related to Garoppolo using a prescribed medication without having a valid therapeutic use exemption from the NFL, Schefter reported.

The Rams were reminded of the importance of a backup quarterback last season when Stafford injured his thumb and missed the Rams’ Week 9 game against the Green Bay Packers. Without Stafford — and with quarterback Brett Rypien starting the game — Los Angeles only scored three points in the loss.

During his end-of-season news conference in January, Rams general manager Les Snead referenced that loss — and how it came close to costing the team a playoff spot — when discussing the importance of having a backup quarterback “that can help us win a game.”

The Rams have had several high draft picks as their backup quarterback in the past two seasons: Baker Mayfield in 2022, Carson Wentz in 2023 and now Garoppolo.

Los Angeles drafted quarterback Stetson Bennett to back up Stafford, but he missed the 2023 season on the reserve/non-football illness list. In January, Rams head coach Sean McVay said it was too early to know whether Bennett would be with Los Angeles next season.

When Garoppolo signed with the Raiders, he needed surgery on his left foot — his contract did not become viable until he passed a physical. He suffered a concussion as well as a back injury and finished last season with 1,205 passing yards, 7 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions, which were leading the league when he was benched by then-interim coach Antonio Pierce in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell after the Halloween firings of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.

Garoppolo’s 65.1 completion percentage was a career low for a season in which he played at least six games, as were his passer rating (77.7) and his QBR (34.2). His 5.3 interception percentage was also a career worst.

Garoppolo, 32, spent the previous six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to two NFC Championship Game appearances. With the 49ers, who acquired him in a 2017 trade with the New England Patriots, Garoppolo threw for 13,599 yards with 82 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.

He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Patriots, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft to serve as the backup to Tom Brady.

ESPN’s Sarah Barshop and Paul Gutierrez contributed to this report.



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