Weekend mail call:
Mike from Shamokin, Pa., wants to know which quarterbacks available in 2011 the Raiders could be interested in.
Bill Williamson: Mike, I think you are on the right track. Unless Jason Campbell shows he can be a consistent player in the final five games of the season, Oakland will, at least, bring in some competition for him. Bruce Gradkowski could be re-signed, but he’s probably backup material. He is too injury-prone and too limited to be considered the starter of the future. The problem is, there aren’t many prospective free agents that are intriguing. The list of free-agent quarterbacks is weak as usual. Guys like Kerry Collins, Marc Bulger, Matt Leinart and Brodie Croyle are on the list. Michael Vick will, in all likelihood, return to Philadelphia. That would mean Kevin Kolb might be available through a trade. He might be expensive, and Oakland doesn’t own its first-round pick, which, of course, means the Raiders won’t be in the mix for the top rookie quarterbacks, either. So, right now, the 2011 quarterback options don’t look great for Oakland. But you never know what will happen. There will be some quarterbacks available who we didn’t originally think would be. Did anyone think Jay Cutler and Donovan McNabb would be traded in the past two offseasons? This is a situation worth watching because we know the Raiders will probably be looking at quarterbacks in the offseason again.
Chris from Chicago wants to know my thoughts on Denver’s “spygate” scandal.
BW: I’m not going to get into theories of what did or didn’t happen. The NFL investigated, and it concluded that Denver video director Steve Scarnecchia acted alone. But the team and coach Josh McDaniels were each fined $50,000, in part, because McDaniels didn’t report the incident when he found out. That’s all we know. But I do think the Broncos should be ashamed of the situation, and I think McDaniels is responsible because he is the head coach. He is supposed to know everything that happens in the organization. There is no room for an incident like this in the NFL. I know there are a lot of embarrassed and bothered people in both the Broncos’ organization and around the NFL.
Dylan from Villisca, Iowa, wants to know if Matt Cassel could be in the MVP chase.
BW: He’s an underdog, but he has a shot. Cassel is No. 7 in this week’s MVP Watch on ESPN.com. He’s a candidate for sure. Cassel has 22 touchdowns and has thrown just four interceptions this season for the 7-4 Chiefs, who lead the AFC West by one game. This is how Cassel can win it: The Chiefs would have run the table or lose just once, and he’d have to toss another 15 touchdowns or so. It’s a tall order, but Cassel has been hot lately. It’s not out of the question.