The Oakland Raiders must target at least one quarterback in free agency this off season. I don’t care if you think the Raiders have their quarterback of the future on the roster in Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor. I don’t care if you think one of the big three draft options, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater will fall into the Raiders lap and is Andrew Luck part two.
No matter what your view of the Raiders options outside of free agency are, the team would be wise to bring in an abundant amount of competition when they begin their 2014 training camp schedule. Quarterback is the single most important position in the NFL and with the rules constantly changing in ways that favor the offense, its value will only continue to grow.
Yes, Seattle showed how a great defense can also win championships, but if you paid close attention to Russell Wilson’s performance in the playoffs and Super Bowl you know that he too played a large part. Especially in the Super Bowl where Marshawn Lynch was bottled up for most of the game. With a lesser quarterback, the game may have been much much closer than it was.
The fact of the matter is, there is no clear answer to the quarterback problem in Oakland. There is no established player like Peyton Manning who can come in and all but guarantee he is ready to be a high caliber starting quarterback in the NFL. EVERYONE is a risk. McGloin, Pryor, Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles and every single quarterback available in free agency.
The best way to change the odds into your favor is by having an abundance of options available as well as a healthy competition that will bring out the best in some guys and reveal the worst in others. Bringing in a guy who has already played in the NFL will be a big value to that process. Simply being familiar with an NFL training camp will raise the level of competition.
There are a number of free agent quarterbacks who will come at a reasonable price and who will have a legitimate shot at competing for the starting job in 2014. Passing on a potential opportunity due to an over confidence in guys on the roster or unproven guys in the draft would be a huge mistake. Without any sure fire options to fix the quarterback position, the Raiders would be wise to give head coach Dennis Allen and his staff as many legitimate options during training camp as possible. This should be a year where the Raiders have no pure camp arms, only arms that could vie for a starting position.