NFL suspends QB Jimmy Garoppolo for violating PEDs policy

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HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Las Vegas Raiders backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was suspended by the NFL on Friday for the first two games of next season for violating the performance-enhancing drugs policy of the league and NFL Players Association.

ESPN also reported the Raiders are expected to release Garoppolo next month before an $11.25 million roster bonus kicks in.

Garoppolo’s days in Las Vegas appeared over at midseason when then-interim coach Antonio Pierce replaced him with rookie Aidan O’Connell for the rest of the season. Pierce became the Raiders’ full-time coach last month, and the Raiders also hired Tom Telesco as their general manager.

The Raiders signed Garoppolo last offseason to a three-year, $72.75 million contract when coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler were in charge. He previously quarterbacked the San Francisco 49ers, making an appearance in the Super Bowl and two in the NFC championship.

But Garoppolo threw seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions this season with a 77.6 quarterback rating, opening the way for O’Connell to take over.

Garoppolo said after the season he wanted to be able to play again somewhere.

“I’m pretty open,” Garoppolo said at the time. “A lot of things are out of my control. I’ve had situations like that before, so as a player, you’ve got to roll with the punches a little bit. Whatever happens, I think it all happens for a reason. You’ve got to make the best of your situation.”

The Raiders still have major decisions to make at quarterback.

O’Connell could keep the job after going 5-4 under Pierce, or Las Vegas could look to upgrade through free agency, a trade or this year’s draft.

“There hasn’t been a lot of years I’ve been the unquestioned starter going in, so I’m used to competing,” O’Connell said on Jan. 25. “I had to compete to get to this spot that I’m in. I also think it would be right to have competition in this league. It’s the NFL. It’s the best of the best, so it’s my job to try to keep my job.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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