The Las Vegas Raiders are one of a handful of teams who are in need of stability at the game's most important position. Derek Carr spent nine years as the Raiders starting quarterback, and while he often provided stability, he only seldom showed glimpses of being a true franchise quarterback. Other than Carr, the closest thing the Raiders have had to a franchise quarterback in the 21st century was Rich Gannon, who led the Raiders to the Super Bowl during an MVP season in 2002, though at the time, Gannon was already 37 years old. Between Gannon and Carr, it was a parade of more past-their-prime veterans (Kerry Collins, Daunte Culpepper, Carson Palmer), cheap and low-risk options (Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown), and one notable bust who was the 1st overall pick in the Draft (Jamarcus Russell).

In total, it's been multiple decades since the Raiders drafted and/or developed a superstar, Super Bowl winning quarterback. And new Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce is ready to break that cycle.

“You don’t want to put a Band-Aid at that position,” Pierce said Wednesday while at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That’s old, man. I think the Raiders, we’ve seen that enough in this organization.”

Okay, so no Band-Aid's. That seems to indicate that a stop-gap quarterback, such as 10-year veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, who was brought in to Vegas last year on a three-year deal, or Aidan O'Connell, the Raiders 2023 4th round pick who admirably went 5-5 in ten starts last season, are likely not the Raiders future quarterback — though Pierce did indicate that Aidan O'Connell would have a chance to compete for the starting job ahead of the 2024 season.

But who is it that Aidan O'Connell will be competing against for the starting job?

Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Gardner Minshew, and Jacoby Brissett are the top five free agent quarterbacks available this offseason, per Pro Football Focus. That's not a crop of veteran QB's that inspire a great deal of confidence. Could the Raiders turn the 44th pick in the NFL Draft into Bears quarterback Justin Fields, giving Las Vegas the chance to use 13th pick on the best available non-quarterback? Or will the Raiders pool their draft assets to move up, likely into the top three, in order to likely select either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels? This would be the option that would seemingly work best with the loose timeline Pierce has established.

“You want the face of your franchise to be the quarterback, to be that guy you can count on for the next 10 years,” Pierce said.

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Antonio Pierce surrounded by bags of cash.

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Understandably, it's Jayden Daniels who has been linked to the Raiders, given his prior relationship with Pierce.

“I’ve known Jayden since he was 14 years old,” Pierce said Wednesday. While Pierce was on the staff at Arizona State, he played a key role in getting Jayden Daniels to commit to the Sun Devils. Daniels would spend three years at Arizona State before transferring to LSU, where he would win the Heisman Trophy during the 2023 season. Interestingly, Pierce's recruiting pitch to Daniels included him winning the Heisman, only the expectation was he'd do so in Tempe, not Baton Rouge.

“That was my recruiting pitch. ‘You’re gonna win the Heisman.'”

It's unclear if in the recruiting pitch he made nearly a decade ago, Pierce told Daniels that they'd eventually win a Lombardi Trophy together. But maybe that's a promise he can make while the two are in Indianapolis together.