Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie Mckenzie marked another box off his check list Friday by completing a trade for quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders were in desperate need of a starting-caliber quarterback until agreeing to trade a late-round draft pick to the Houston Texans.
Mckenzie and the Raiders had other options but none better than Schaub. Trading for him was a great movie for the Raiders. Schaub is not a great quarterback but he is highly serviceable and more than competent.
With other options like Mike Vick, Josh Freeman and Mark Sanchez available, Reggie and his staff had to identify the best fit for the Raiders. While Vick is 10 times better than Terrelle Pryor, he does have some of the same issues and also comes with injury concerns.
Sanchez and Freeman are younger than Vick and have NFL talent but neither has been consistent over their careers and both have struggled to put it all together. Some fans are feeling emotional because Mckenzie traded a late round pick to acquire a quarterback for the second straight year. A fifth rounder for Matt Flynn last year and a sixth for Matt Schaub this year.
The Raiders solved their short term quarterback problem by trading a throwaway pick to Houston. Considering that Oakland acquired Matt Schaub for the same price that San Francisco paid for Blain Gabbert, you have to think that the Raiders walked away with a steal and the 49ers were robbed.
Schaub is the definition of low risk, high reward. Schaub is guaranteed absolutely no money because all of his guaranteed money was paid out in the first two years of his contract. Oakland can cut him at anytime with no cap hit. Acquiring a player with a built in exit strategy has to be admired.
Although it is unlikely that Schaub will even see the rest of the money that his contract carries, the Raiders will be on the hook for Matt Schaub’s $10 million base salary and another $1 million total in per-game roster bonuses ($62,500 each game), per overthecap.com. Schaub does have a base salary of $12.5 million in 2015 and $14.5 million in 2016 with an additional $1 million in per-game roster bonuses each year.
While Schaub did have a down year last season, you have to dig deeper into the issues and not take that at face value. Yes he threw costly interceptions and lost his starting job to Case Keenum. But if you remove his two worst performances against San Francisco and Denver and Schaub’s 2013 season looks very similar to his previous campaigns.
The Texans dealt with injuries to key players such as pro bowl running back Arian Foster and backup Ben Tate. Andre Johnson also had ailments of his own that hampered him throughout the season as well. Plus, Schaub himself was coming off of an injury to his foot and hurt his leg in season.
It’s easy to blame Schaub for the Texans struggles, but the team struggled as a whole. The quarterback is the leader of the team so he will get all the praise and the blame. For a team whom many had penciled into the finial four vying for a spot in the Super Bowl, there is plenty of blame to go around.
Schaub might not be a great quarterback, he gives the Raiders options they didn’t have last year or yesterday. 24 hours ago Reggie Mckenzie said that he had a pretty good idea who the teams starting quarterback would be.
Looks like he wasn’t bluffing.
I believe Oakland will now target a young quarterback to groom in the draft. Local kid David Fales is one name to keep an eye on. Considered a second or third round pick, now Oakland doesn’t have to reach for a quarterback with the 5th pick.