The Oakland Raiders have a ton of holes on the roster that they still need to fill. Not only that, but an incredibly large number of players on the team are going to be free agents come the offseason and the Raiders will likely not be able to re-sign them all. That means when free agency begins, the Raiders will more likely than not have even more holes on their roster than when the season ended. Not exactly exciting news.
But despite the immense need for players all along the Raiders roster, most are still focused almost entirely on one position, quarterback,
And the focus is for good reason, the NFL is now a quarterback driven league. It is without a doubt the single most important position on an NFL roster. The Raiders currently have two quarterback options on the roster with Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor but neither has shown enough for the Raiders to completely rule out bringing in another arm to compete in 2014.
Much of the talk about who the Raiders could bring in at QB has been focused on the draft. Fact of the matter is, franchise quarterbacks do not often become available in free agency. But then again, the Raiders may not necessarily only looking for their franchise guy, they may also be looking to find a stop gap and a guy to compete and push others in camp.
Plus, with the draft, you can never be sure how the chips will fall so the Raiders would be wise to sign at least one quarterback in free agency before the draft even occurs in order to hedge their bets. So, with that being said, here is a look at some of the quarterbacks who will be available to the Raiders in free agency.
The way I see it, there are really only three viable options that are currently set to be free agents (I am not including players who are believed will be cut or available via trade)
Freeman’s tenure in Minnesota will very likely be short lived considering how little love he got there this season. As he hits the free agent market, the Raiders are a team whose will almost immediately be connected to Freeman. His best season in Tampa Bay came when Raiders offensive coordinator was his QB coach. When he was on the trade block, it was rumored that the Raiders were very interested and now that he will likely be had for a fairly cheap price, he is a very likely option for the Raiders.
He has shown some serious skill and the ability to be a very good NFL quarterback. The problem is, he has also shown some issues with maturity and off the field issues. We may never know exactly what happened in Tampa Bay and Greg Schiano seems like a very unpleasant coach to play for, but you still have to be weary. There is a lot of potential for boom and bust with Freeman, but if he comes at a cheap price, he may be the best option for a long term answer at quarterback available to the Raiders aside from the Draft.
The Raiders played a part in ensuring Vick will not return to Philadephia by jump starting Nick Foles’ career so why not be the place where he goes next. Vick is a dynamic player who has had flashes of greatness in his career. He is getting older and has always had issues with consistency, but by all accounts he is a completely different person than he was before the dog fighting incident. He is supposed to be much more mature and much more of a leader.
If that is true and if the Raiders are interested in developing Terrelle Pryor, Vick would not be a bad guy for him to sit behind for a year or two. Otherwise, Vick is not a guy who makes a ton of sense for the Raiders as he is not a long term answer and if they want to go with a pocket quarterback in the future, using a mobile quarterback could make the transition more difficult in terms of revamping the playbook.
Vick would be the automatic starter if the Raiders signed him, but just because he represents an upgrade does not necessarily mean it is the best option for the long term. But on the flip side, it does mean the Raiders would be ready to compete much quicker.
McCown may not end up being available since the Bears want to re-sign him and he has stated that he may consider retiring from the NFL, but if he is available, I think the Raiders should take a good look. McCown has always intrigued me as he bounced around the NFL from bad team to bad team and did enough to continue getting looks. With quality receivers in Chicago, McCown showed that he can really sling the ball.
He would come at an affordable price and would be the ideal pocket passer to use as a stop gap so the Raiders would not have to force a young quarterback into action too quickly. It gives a valuable draft pick time to get acclimated to the NFL while also giving Reggie McKenzie time to build a better team for him when he does start.
The free agent class is not overwhelming by any means but there are some stop gap options available to the Raiders and one potential long term solution in Freeman.