Nothing is more important than quarterback play in the present day NFL. Teams cannot win games if they don't have a bona fide signal caller. The Oakland Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie found their guy via a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub joins the Raiders after seven seasons in Houston.
The Raiders desperately needed to address the quarterback situation this offseason. Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin split duty last season and both proved they were not long term answers. Pryor and McGloin showed some promise, but McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen cannot afford to wait for them to develop. That is the reason they liked Schaub. He gives them that veteran presence they wanted. However, at 32-years-old, Schaub is not a long term answer, so look for the Raiders to further address the position in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The 6'5", 235 pound Schaub had the worst season of his career in 2013. He started the first 6 games before a combination of injuries and poor play got him benched. Schaub tied an NFL record by throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in four consecutive games. He started eight games and saw action in 10 total, but struggled mightily. Schaub tossed 14 interceptions in those games with 10 touchdown passes, and 2,310 yards. The Raiders need to hope that the 2013 season was an aberration and not a sign of Schaub's future.
In the two seasons previous, Schaub led the Texans to the playoffs. In both 2011 and 2012, the Texans went and won a playoff game. Schaub was lost for the season after 10 games in 2011, so he was unable to play in that postseason. He did however toss for 2,479 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions in those 10 games. In 2012, the Texans also went to the playoffs and won a game. Schaub finished that season completing more than 64 percent of his passes for 4,008 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in a Pro Bowl season. That is the Schaub the Raiders brass hope for.
Another concern of the Schaub trade is the financial side. The Raiders have plenty of salary cap space even after all of their free agent signings, but Schaub signed a huge contract extension in 2012. According to spotrac.com, Schaub is carrying a 14.4 million dollar cap hit for 2014 with 10 million in base salary. Those numbers climb to a 17 million dollar cap hit and 12.5 million is base salary for 2015. It is unclear if the Raiders were able to restructure prior to the trade or if Schaub will consider restructuring after the deal, but it is a needed discussion.
The bottom line for the Raiders is they needed to address the quarterback position and felt better about an experienced veteran than a developmental rookie. They should absolutely still consider all their quarterback options in the 2014 NFL Draft and the Schaub trade should have no bearing on taking another. This is going to be a defining move by Reggie McKenzie. Schaub is coming off a horrible year and will need to improve to help Oakland and solidify this deal.
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