<
>

Breaking down Oakland's QB race

Oakland coach Tom Cable has often said it will be a five-man competition for Oakland’s starting quarterback job. After the team’s minicamp this weekend, here is how I think the competition will play out:

Starter

Jason Campbell

Why: Campbell was not brought in and given a one-year contract extension to sit. He is, by far, the most accomplished quarterback in Oakland. He is a solid player who should make the Raiders better. If Campbell does not win this job, something is very wrong.

Backup

Bruce Gradkowski

Why: Gradkowski can help this team in the backup role. He has proved he can ignite the offense on a short-term basis. Gradkowski is not as talented as Campbell and shouldn’t beat him out. But if Campbell gets hurt, Gradkowski can step in and help.

No. 3 quarterback

JaMarcus Russell

Why: If Russell takes a pay cut, I think owner Al Davis will decide Russell is worth keeping. He can sit and learn from Campbell and Gradkowski without much pressure. If Russell won’t reduce his salary, he will likely be kicked out of Oakland.

On the bubble

Charlie Frye

Why: The Raiders love Frye’s work ethic and how he fits in the locker room. But there just may not be any room for him. If Russell is canned, Frye will stick. If Frye has a good training camp, I wouldn’t be shocked if Oakland somehow tried to keep four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

Not for long

Kyle Boller

Why: Boller was brought in to help while Gradkowski recovers from a pectoral injury. Gradkowski should be back for camp. Boller will likely be cut sometime in August. He has some decent experience, but you just can’t keep everyone.