The Oakland Raiders finally made a move for a big named player that the fans have been calling for with all of their cap space, as they bring in veteran quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders had a glaring need at the quarterback position and needed to bring in a veteran to provide some stability or place the team in the hands of a rookie signal caller.
It is a move that fits the Raiders’ recent history in trading some draft picks for a veteran quarterback that is on the wrong side of 30 and trying to fill their hole at quarterback with a temporary bandage. The last two quarterbacks brought in via trade did not exactly pan out. In 2011, the team gave a first round pick in 2011 and a conditional second round pick in 2012 for Carson Palmer. In 2013, the team gave up a fifth-round pick for Matt Flynn. Those trades led to a total of eight combined wins for both quarterbacks during their tenure.
The Raiders’ recent track record should not fill Raiders’ fans with much hope with the recent acquisition of Schaub. It leaves the question of is this the Palmer situation all over again or will Schuab thrive with a change of scenery?
Schaub was talented quarterback during his career with the Texans, as he averaged more than 3,300 passing yards per year, nearly 18 touchdowns per year, and a career quarterback rating of 90.9. His 2013 season was a disaster, as he struggled with ball security and was replaced by rookie quarterback Case Keenum over the second half of the season. He is only a single year removed from being among the top-10 quarterbacks.
In 2012, Schaub threw for more than 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He led the Texans to their best season in team history, as they compiled a 12-4 record and their second straight playoff appearance. He was also selected to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl game, as well.
In three of Schaub’s last five seasons, he has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. The similarity in all those season are Schaub playing a full 16 games in a season. When Schaub is fully healthy, he is among the top tier of the quarterbacks in the NFL. One year of poor football does not doom him to a rapid decline.
This is what separates him from the Palmer trade, other than a much lower price tag of a sixth round pick. Schaub has been a steady hand for the Texans and he has consistently produced solid numbers, which Palmer had shown declining numbers over the course of his career.
There are select few people who believe that change of scenery could be a blessing for the veteran signal caller. One of these people is new teammate Charles Woodson, who had this to say in a conference call to reporters:
“I think people look at Schaub and only look at his last year. I think they base his career off of his last year. But, I see a guy that, in my opinion, has been very steady. He’s done some really good things throughout his time. Sometimes you just need a fresh start, a new set of circumstances to restart, to restart your history. Hopefully this is the place that he can get it done. I know he’ll help us win, that’s one thing for sure. A veteran player, he’s been around for a long time, and he knows how to win games. He’ll help the team win.”
Woodson points to Schaub’s consistency over the course of his career. He feels that Schaub is being unfairly judged due to one poor season and that the rest of his career shows Schaub to be an extremely productive player. He would give the Raiders’ a steady veteran presence at the quarterback position that they have not seen in sometime.
I would have to agree with Woodson, in a sense. The best case scenario is that Schaub finds new life in Oakland and is the missing piece to the offense and leads the Raiders to the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons. Realistically, Schaub provides the Raiders with solid production over the course of his tenure with the team, while they groom his eventual successor.
So, while Schaub will not be the missing piece to their offensive puzzle that leads them to a championship, but he will be the best veteran quarterback that they can bring in to hold down the position until they can find their future franchise quarterback.