Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown (12) gets set during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Bears 54-11. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Should The Raiders Pursue Josh McCown?


Not since the days of Rich Gannon have the Oakland Raiders had a franchise quarterback. That long search has taken the Silver and Black through an array of signal callers, but unfortunately for Raider Nation, none have panned out. That list includes Josh McCown, who was on the team as a backup in 2007. After a solid campaign in a backup role for the Chicago Bears last season, McCown has been a name uttered by many Raider fans to possibly return to Oakland.

You won’t find me on that list. I don’t believe for a moment that McCown, who I think is a system quarterback, will flourish in Oakland on a team devoid of offensive talent. It’s one thing to have a solid offensive line, two really good backs, two elite receivers and a stud tight end in the huddle, but it’s a whole new world lining up on a team with only one Pro Bowler. McCown did throw for more than 1,800 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one pick with a 66.5 accuracy rate, but that won’t guarantee success in a Raider uniform. There is a reason why he has been a journeyman in his career. He is simply a backup.

Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) scrambles out of pocket against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. The Titans won 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

What the Raiders should do however, is wait for Matt Schaub to get released by the Houston Texans. Schaub has a very restrictive cap number and it would be a surprise if he is still on the Texans squad come free agency on March 11. While he had a horrifying season last year, it wasn’t long ago that he was a Pro Bowl quarterback and a player who led the Texans to back-to-back playoff appearances. If you examine Schaub’s career numbers, you’ll find a quarterback who has thrown for more than 24,000 yards, 50 more touchdowns than picks, close to a 90 passer rating and a Pro Bowler. The Raiders history has been littered with players who revived their careers in Silver and Black. At only 32 (33 by next training camp), Schaub can be the stop-gap player the Raiders need at the position while they build for the future.

The other upside of a move for Schaub will allow the Raiders to maybe snatch an elite pass rusher or receiver in the draft. With the 2014 draft heralded as one of the deepest, it is essential to hit on every pick to maximise this unique opportunity (high draft picks and record salary cap space) the Raiders have to get back to the summit of the NFL.

To hedge against the failure of Schaub in reigniting the Team of the Decades, I would draft Zach Mattenberger or Aaron Murray in the third round. These two players, owing to their injuries and a deep draft, could be available as late as the fourth round. I would throw the two new quarterbacks in a frenzied camp competition for the starting job with incumbents Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor.

The Raiders could take one of a thousand different approaches to this off-season. The one thing I’m convinced of is that Josh McCown shouldn’t factor into any of those.

Tags: Featured Josh Mccown Oakland Raiders Popular

  • Rees Britton

    The moment you said he’s a system quarterback your article lost all credibility.

    • Alvin Chandra

      Don’t tell me, you think he’s a franchise quarterback

      • Rees Britton

        Honestly, when I read your comment I laughed. Absolutely not and Im not even sure whom your are referring to.
        Every Qb is a “system” Qb… every player has a system that they function best in. I just don’t like the term, it gets thrown around all the time like it actually means something. You don’t hear people say it for other positions, but it works for them all. Like Darren McFragile is Rb best suited in a power blocking scheme as opposed to a zone scheme… so why doesn’t anyone talk about him being a system Rb? Im sure Joe Montana wouldn’t have done as well in a different system, so does that make him a system Qb?
        Rant over…

        • Alvin Chandra

          ThirdYou have a slight point, but to say Montana wouldn’t have functioned in a different system is a joke. Many fans, erroneously, have a perception that Montana had a weak arm and therefore couldn’t play in a “Air Coryell”type system.
          Secondly, a system qb is a player is a player that fits very limited schemes. Josh McCown is at best a system qb. Don’t really get the stubborn denial of a fact.
          Third, you picking one disagreement to discredit the whole article it’s childish at best. Why not debate the whole article?

          • Rees Britton

            Because the one disagreement that I picked makes the article seem… childish. Matt Schaub is also a “system” qb (as I explained everyone is) that as you even stated had a horrifying year…in a system believed to best fit his style. Why would we want a guy that struggled in his system over a guy that played very well in his own? McCown by no means is a long term solution, but wouldn’t you rather have a guy with some confidence?
            Didn’t the raiders prove that we could adapt our system or style to whomever was playing Qb? We had much different offenses from Flynn, to Pryor, to McGloin… so why couldn’t we sign McCown and run an offense that best suits him?
            To say we shouldn’t sign one player over another because he is a system guy is the easy way out. What we should be asking is can we as a team be better with ______ (qb) playing _____ system.
            Our offense was great under jackson because he asked players to do what they were best at, not what the offense needed them to do best. This is what the Patriots do better then anyone else… they find players to fit a certain role. One that best suits their abilities and thats all they ask of them, fill ____ role.

          • Alvin Chandra

            So you’ll take McCown over Schaub only because he’s had 7 good games in his career and because he has more confidence?
            Not all qbs are system players. Manning and Brady can play on any system expect for maybe a run-centric one.
            So because you liked McCown with Michael Bush, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall–you think he’ll succeed in Oakland with jennings, streater,rivera,moore?
            That argument doesn’t hold water.
            Shaub is flawed no doubt, but he’s a two time pro bowler. He’s played in this league with some success. I’ll take that over a half season wonder any day.
            Our offense was great under Jackson for the 11 games when we were 7-4 before his gimmicky play calling became detrimental to our success. How did his system work around Palmer? Fans have a very glossy perception of Jackson but they ignore the full picture including throwing two high draft picks away.
            Jackson may be a decent pay caller, but he was a horrible head coach. At the end, he lost the team so he had to go.

          • Rees Britton

            I never said he didn’t have to go, or that he didn’t shit away 2 draft picks for a washed up Qb, or that he didn’t lose the team… what I did say is his gimmicky play calling was a lot better than say Knapp’s offense where nothing in the system bends… you have to fit into this role or that. Now we have a play caller who obviously can shape an offense around his players… so why not? but thats neither here nor there.
            I also said I would rather take a player like McCown, who is coming off some good performances, rather then take Schaub who is 46-44 in his career and went 2-6 last season with Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Owen Daniels, Ben Tate, & Arian Foster. At least McCown showed he still knows how to play!
            Your argument is that Schaub has played in the league and showed “some” success… well didn’t McCown show some success too? You say that McCown only flourished b/c he had good players around him, but didn’t Schaub have a really good team around him too… one that a lot of people picked to be a super bowl contender. If he plays like that on a super bowl contender, then how will he be any better for us?
            And thank you for pointing out that Manning and Brady are both system guys that function best in a specific scheme… thats exactly what I was saying!
            P.S. my comments may have come across as “childish”, but do they teach you to say unprofessional things to your audience here??? Not good business sense… and if you look at my profile picture I am like 1y/o!

          • Alvin Chandra

            Listen I’m about as frustrated with the politically correct world we live in as you are with ESPN’s overuse/missuse of the term “system qb,” so don’t expect an apology for calling it as I see it ;) plus I’m not above calling people names.
            You forced me to relook at McCown’s stats so here it is. Career as starter 16-22, 50-45 td-int, 8800 career passing yards, 59.4 completion percentage. That my friend, is what you’re arguing for. The only thing McCown has going for him is momentum, which as all fans know, is more fragile than your sensitivity.
            Not defending Schaubs terrible year, but you failed to mention the injuries to Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. Plus Houston’s group isn’t quite as good as Chicago’s no matter how much you want it to be for your arguments sake.
            I don’t know this professional of whom you speak, I’m just a fan with an opinion and a voice.
            I think we’re done with this argument. McCown, for the final time, is a system qb for whom we couldn’t build a system with the players we have.

          • Rees Britton

            I can make an argument about how Schaub wouldn’t be a great fit either and honestly he only had one really good year and that was 5 years ago. With all that said, it will come down to how much each player thinks they are worth… well if for some reason we don’t sign Freeman, then none of this matters anyways.
            I honestly wouldn’t sign either if I had the choice.
            for the final time… lol

          • Alvin Chandra

            Yea I can mange an argument against schaub too, but I would favor him slightly over Freeman. Just hear bad stories about his work ethic. Although Olsen could once again get it out of him.
            Personally, I’m a fan of Zach Mattenberger.He could be available in the second or third.
            I’d trade back from the fifth pick if I could, pick up extra picks and maybe grab Mike Evans. If I’m stuck at fifth, I’d take Watkins, Mack depending on how free agency goes.
            How do Yu see the draft?

          • Rees Britton

            We really have an interesting spot at #5 because so many different things can happen… I of course like every other fan try to figure out what I think they might do, but at this point before free agency its a guessing game at best. I guess because of the lack of WR and QB depth in this years FA class, Im not opposed to taking Watkins at 5 and then maybe getting Tahj Boyd later in the draft… I really don’t see how we can screw this pick up, but we have done it before.
            What are your thoughts on Boyd?

          • Alvin Chandra

            Haven’t really watched much of him, heard a couple of interviews though and I came away impressed by the way he conducts himself. Not big on manziel, so-so on Bortles, a little higher on Bridgewater, but I see Murray and Mattenberger as steals. Boyd could be in that mold.

          • Alvin Chandra

            Although I wouldn’t draft a qb with the 5th pick.

          • Rees Britton

            Im leaning the same way…I grew up and played against Manziel’s alma mater… I love the kid, but I don’t think he is a great fit for us. Bortles straight up scares me, right along with Clowney. If Bridgewater were to fall I could handle taking him, but Im not completely sold on him either. So I guess it comes down to Watkins, one of the tackles, and Mack.
            Im not as high on Murray. Could he be a serviceable starter in the league, I think so, but he just doesn’t seem to ever come up big. The one thing I really love about Manziel, is the kid is a winner!
            Im liking Boyd more and more because he is starting to get lost in shuffle a bit, which means we could probably get him in round 3 or 4 and still be able to fill some of our other holes.
            To get back to the original article, what do you think the numbers will look like for Schaub and McCown? Wont Schaub be expecting a starting gig and starters money? Maybe from a financial point of view we can agree about these two! lol

          • Alvin Chandra

            I think you’re right about Schaub he would likely command starting money look due to the bare qb market. The Browns may make a run at him with their loaded roster.
            I do think he could go for around $8M which is Alex Smith money. Half of the $16M franchise tag #for qb’s is about right.
            I just think the owner is getting impatient and the regime may not get to finish the job they started and I like what they’ve done so far. Getting rid of the coaching staff would set us back as far as going through another scheme change. A scheme change could mean some of the players we have may become expendable and we’ll be back to square one.

          • Rees Britton

            Hopefully are ever improving roster will show some improvement in the win column, so that we don’t hit the reset button…. again. Whatever they do I think we can both agree that we are in much better hands now then we have been in a LONG time!
            Im really looking forward to FA and then of course the draft.
            GO RAIDERS!!!!

          • Alvin Chandra

            Go Raiders!! I’m just excited at what we can accomplish. I just hope we do it.

          • Alvin Chandra

            I’m in total agreement with you on Knapps pay calling ability. He’s too rigid to be a play caller. A decent quarterback coach though.

  • Eric Kench

    No way would I bring him back! We had him already! He was Josh McClown remember?