Report: Oakland looking at McNabb

After a quiet offseason, the Raiders are reportedly looking to make some big noise.

Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Oakland and Buffalo have inquired about trading for Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb. There is another report saying the Rams have an offer out for McNabb as well.

Earlier Wednesday, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid acknowledged there have been inquiries for the 11-season veteran. There is clearly something going on here.

The Yahoo! Sports report said that McNabb would be reluctant to go to Buffalo or Oakland because neither team is a contender and he would not be interested in signing an extension. This is the final year of McNabb’s contract and he is due a huge roster bonus due in May.

So, there are major loopholes for Oakland to get through to acquire McNabb.

Still, the interest alone in McNabb reveals some interesting information about the Raiders. First, it shows they are not satisfied with bringing Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell and Charlie Frye to camp. Coach Tom Cable indicated at the owners meetings on Tuesday that the team was at terms with the group.

Oakland shouldn’t be happy and McNabb would be an upgrade over any of the three quarterbacks in Oakland. It also shows that Russell hasn’t done enough this offseason to make Oakland believe he can revive his career.

The Raiders feel like they have to consider getting better at quarterback. I like that thinking. This current setup is not a great long-term answer, even though Gradkowski could be a decent short-term answer if he continues to get better.

But neither is McNabb. He will turn 34 during the 2010 season. Trading for McNabb would be similar to Oakland trading its 2011 top pick to New England for Richard Seymour last September. It is a short-term move intended for a team with serious playoff intentions.

McNabb would make Oakland better right away, but not an instant Super Bowl threat. He’s been to the Super Bowl once in his career. Why would he suddenly be the missing link in Oakland with just a few more years remaining in his career? McNabb wouldn’t instantly make the Raiders’ young receivers and lousy offensive line better.

The Raiders need to get younger and better. It needs to be done through the draft.

Even though they have greater needs, Oakland might be better served using its No. 8 pick on a player like Jimmy Clausen or its second-round pick on a player like Colt McCoy instead of investing a top pick on a short-term answer like McNabb.

I’d even think it would be better for Oakland to pursue Eagles backup quarterback Michael Vick than McNabb. He’d be much cheaper.

In short, it’s good that Oakland is trying to improve its quarterback situation and it’s good that it is not banking on Russell, but perhaps McNabb is not the right avenue to pursue.