The Oakland Raiders do not only view Matt Schaub as a starting quarterback or short term solution at the position. They feel he’s the potential long term answer as well. Schaub will be 33 by the start of the season so long term is likely only three or four more years unless he’s Brett Favre.
General manager Reggie Mckenzie said that his ideal situation would be to draft a young quarterback and sit him behind a veteran to develop the way the Green Bay Packers did with Aaron Rodgers while Mckenzie was still there. Mckenzie said that the Raiders kept their eye on Schaub as they identified players they thought would be released or on the trading block.
For Mckenzie and the Raiders, it was a chance to get a quarterback who they felt was consistent throughout most of his career. Even though there was a chance Schaub could be released, by giving up a sixth round pick in this years draft, Oakland ensured they got their man. They did not want to take the chance of him signing elsewhere.
During his conference call, head coach Dennis Allan echoed the same thing that Mckenzie said. “This is a guy that we identified very early on in the process that we thought could potentially be available to us. He was a guy that we really thought highly of.”
Allan would then go on to give everyone the news they’d all been waiting for when he named the newly acquired signal caller the starter.
“We brought Matt Schaub in to be our starting quarterback. We feel very confident that he is going to be able to come in and function in that role and be outstanding for us. Obviously, we love having competition within the team, but right now Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback.”
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have reduced his base salary. Per NFLPA data, Schaub was scheduled to make $10.9 million in 2014. Schaub now carries a lower salary-cap number for this season. Roughly around $7.5 million.
While restructuring Schaub’s deal was likely a part of trade discussions, doing so is a good indicator that he’ll be around Oakland for at least two seasons. A two time pro bowler, Schaub is the proven winning quarterback that Allan has spoken of many times.
During the Schaub introductory press conference offensive coordinator Greg Olson shared his thoughts. “At the end of the 2013 season, we made it our No. 1 priority to identify and acquire a proven, winning starting quarterback,” he said. “It became obvious early on that Matt Schaub was a player that would meet that role.”
Schaub suffered through what was by far the worst season of his career in 2013, going 2-6 in eight starts and throwing more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (10). A disappointing start plus an ankle injury, he was unseated as the starting quarterback by Case Keenum. The writing was on the wall regarding Schaub’s future in Houston from that point on. Even fans started sending death threats to the Texans all time leading passer.
Schaub was rarely given any credit for the Texans success but received all of the blame for their failures. Praise was usually reserved for the defense, wide receiver Andre Johnson or running back Arian Foster. When things went horribly wrong last year, fans and observers were quick to place all of the blame on Schaub.
Schaub remains the only quarterback in team history to take Houston to the playoffs and he threw for 4,000 or more yards in a season on three occasions while with Houston. Besides the 2013 season, Schaub has a impressive resume.
Acquiring a quarterback talent like Matt Schaub for only a sixth round pick should be considered felony robbery. By comparison the San Francisco 49ers gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a sixth rounder for Blain Gabbert. He was a bottom five quarterback in the NFL.
Schaub has already helped bring one struggling franchise to relevance in Houston. The Raiders believe he can help return their storied franchise to glory.