The Oakland Raiders are looking for a quarterback but need to be careful not to overreach in an overreaction to the need. In today’s NFL, quarterback is easily the most important position on a team. Because of that, teams are constantly drafting guys too high and paying guys too much in an effort to improve that position.
The Raiders were guilty of this just last season. When Carson Palmer refused to restructure his contract, thus forcing himself out of yet another team, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie overreacted to the hole it created and overpaid for Matt Flynn. Not only did the Raiders give up a draft pick, they ended up with a bigger cap hit in 2013 than if they had kept Palmer (but a much smaller hit this season).
Now, there are reports that the Raiders could trade for a quarterback for the second offseason in a row. There is an unconfirmed report that the Raiders are in talks with the Houston Texans for quarterback Matt Schaub, a guy most assume the Texans are going to cut if a trade cannot be worked out.
Likely, the Raiders believe they have a better shot at landing Schaub through a trade than free agency. There are a number of teams that Schaub could sign with and be the starter on day one and if the trade rumors are true, the Raiders want to take the choice out of his hands.
But unless the Raiders can make the trade for a late round pick, a six or a seven, AND they can get Schaub to take a pay cut, this very well could be a repeat of the Flynn mistake. Clearly Schaub is a MUCH better quarterback than Flynn, but he is not the long term answer and is not worth expending a large amount on.
If the Raiders cannot get a deal done with those parameters, general manager Reggie McKenzie will likely be blasted by fans and commentators alike. And likely with just cause. Schaub is a stop gap and the Raiders have far too many holes to give up a mid round pick or a significant chunk of cap space for a guy who may only be with the team for a couple of years and comes with as many questions as Schaub does.