Sure, the Oakland Raiders already have three quarterbacks on their roster in Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor and Trent Edwards. And yes, the Raiders hold the No. 5 overall pick and have been linked with everyone from Johnny Manziel to Blake Bortles to Teddy Bridgewater to Derek Carr.
But the feeling has long been that the Raiders want to acquire a veteran signal-caller to guide them through the first few years of “reconstruction” while the rest of the team is upgraded. ESPN.com has learned that Oakland has targeted four such QBs, in this order – Matt Schaub, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman and Michael Vick. It is interesting to note that Schaub and Sanchez are not yet free agents as neither has been cut by their respective team … yet.
A look at the four QBs and how they relate to the Raiders…
Silver and Black – Before Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb there was Schaub, the career backup who seemed destined for bigger things. Schaub, though, delivered … at least in the regular season. The two-time Pro Bowler for the Houston Texans could be the prototypical reclamation project for the Raiders as the pure dropback passer coach Dennis Allen craves. Schaub is only two seasons removed from a 4,000-yard passing season and could benefit from a change of scenery.
Silver and Blechh – If Schaub was a turnover and pick-six machine for the Texans last season, when he lost his job, how ineffective would he be behind an offensive line still getting its footing in Oakland? His confidence no doubt was shaken with how far he fell from grace in Houston, and the Black Hole would be even less forgiving if he stumbled early on.
Silver and Black – The Southern California native would benefit from a change of scenery, getting out of New York’s fishbowl and into a more welcome situation. The former No. 5 overall pick of the Jets has the big arm the Raiders want and is still relatively young enough to groom. Sanchez went to the AFC title game in each of his first two seasons and has already worked with Raiders QB coach John DeFilippo before so there is a comfort level with which to work.
Silver and Blechh – Remember Hot Dog Gate? Raiders fans most certainly do. And what about the Butt Fumble? Ditto. Sanchez may be gun-shy after his New York experience and is coming off a season-ending shoulder injury suffered last preseason.
Silver and Black – The physical tools are there for the 6-foot-6, 240-pound athletic freak. Plus, he has a fan in Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who coached him in Tampa Bay from 2009 through 2011 as the Buccaneers’ OC and QB coach. “I have a lot of respect for him, as a person and a player, and it’s unfortunate to me to watch what happened in Tampa … really over the last couple of years,” Olson said when Tampa Bay cut Freeman last year. “But I’ve always had the utmost respect for him and I think he’s a great player.”
Silver and Blechh – Questions about Freeman’s maturity will continue to dog him and coming to a situation rife with uncertainty, turnover and, potentially, turmoil, would not bode well for him in Oakland.
Silver and Black – The epitome of the Raiders' rehab story, no? Vick has served his time for his role in the infamous dogfighting ring and, after losing his job in Philadelphia last year, he would be motivated to prove he still has something in the tank. Plus, his skillset is similar to that of Terrelle Pryor so he could serve as a mentor. And, at age 34 in June, Vick only has a few years left, so he would be the perfect bridge to the Raiders’ next quarterback.
Silver and Blechh – Well, Vick has never really been known to be a leader and/or mentor and if his not causing a stir when Nick Foles took the Eagles job from him last year when Vick was injured is the height of leadership for him, that leaves a lot to be desired. And his style of play leaves him open to injury, as evidenced by his playing more than 12 games in a season only once since his return from prison. Besides, if the Raiders want a run-first quarterback, they have a younger, cheaper and bigger alternative already on the roster in Pryor … or they can potentially draft Manziel … or, gulp, make a run at Tim Tebow.