To say that the 2014 offseason has been a wild roller coaster ride for the Oakland Raiders and their fans would a massive understatement. They had the worst first forty-eight hours of free agency of any team in recent memory. GM Reggie McKenzie let key free agents Lamarr Houston, Rashad Jennings, and Jared Veldheer simply walk away, while his big signing, OT Rodger Saffold, failed his physical and had his contract voided by the team. McKenzie has rebounded over the last couple of days with some solid signings on the defensive side of the ball, but Raiders fans are still left with a lot of questions and even more anxiety. And now comes word that McKenzie might getting ready to step in a big, steaming pile once again.
SportsRadio 610 in Houston, is reporting that the Houston Texans and the Raiders are engaged in “very serious trade talks” to bring embattled quarterback Matt Schaub to the Bay Area. Schaub had been widely expected to be released by the Texans but with no bonus pending and some time on their hands, the Texans have kept him on the roster to see about suckering (I mean finding … ) a trading partner. And if the reports are accurate, they may have found just the partner in McKenzie and Oakland.
We’ve long known that the Raiders have been unhappy with their quarterback situation. Neither McKenzie nor head coach Dennis Allen believe that Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor is the answer moving forward. And needless to say, absolutely nobody thinks that Trent Edwards — the third quarterback currently with the team — is the answer to anything. So, intense amounts of speculation have centered on whether or not the Raiders would draft a quarterback, or bring in a veteran like Schaub, to lead the team. The Raiders have also previously been linked with veteran QBs Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, and Michael Vick.
There is no question that Schaub had a bad 2013 season. But that poor season can be somewhat attributed to how horrible the Texans were as a team. A team doesn’t finish 2-14 because of just one guy. But over the course of his career, Schaub has put up respectable numbers. With a 64 percent career completion percentage, more than 24,000 yards through the air, 130 touchdowns against just 84 interceptions, Schaub hasn’t been a bad quarterback. He could possibly be the upgrade at the quarterback spot the Raiders have been looking for. But is he worth the price it would cost the Raiders to bring him to Oakland?
If the deal falls through and no trade is consummated, it’s still possible that the Texans release Schaub. In theory, the Raiders could snap him up as a free agent at a lower cost and without having to give up any of their valuable draft picks. But it’s also just as possible that if the Texans release Schaub, the Raiders might not have any shot at snagging him at all. Let’s be honest here, Oakland isn’t exactly a prime location for high profile free agents. It’s possible that McKenzie believes that, since Schaub still has three years left on his current contract, trading for him might be his only chance to land a quarterback with a solid resume, and one who has had some success in the NFL– a QB who can step in and start on day one.
At this point, it’s all still speculation and conjecture. The idea that talks between Houston and Oakland are heating up is based on one report from a local radio station. Still, Schaub’s name has been thrown around in connection with the Raiders for a while now. And you know what they say about where there’s smoke…
There would be pros and cons to dealing for Schaub. Was his horrid 2013 an anomaly? Or was it a sign of a QB on the decline? Can he regain his form and be a solid QB for the team? Or would Raider fans be in for another Matt Flynn experience? Would dealing for Schaub be a savvy move or a disaster? We’ll just have to wait and see.