The Oakland Raiders have had 15 different quarterbacks start at least one game since Rich Gannon last played in 2004, and while the team may still have a big need at the position, current Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub isn't the answer.
The past season in Oakland featured three different starting quarterbacks in Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and Matt Flynn. Flynn is now a free agent after last playing with the Green Bay Packers, while the other two are still on the roster.
As you can see in the table below, neither Pryor or McGloin were particularly good passers last year, although Pryor did also rush for 576 yards and two scores on just 83 carries.
Given the way both played last season, it doesn't look like either player is good enough to be the long-term starter in Oakland.
Understandably, the Raiders are looking for a new quarterback, and they have the money to bring one in via free agency if needed. According to OverTheCap.com, the Raiders have an estimated $39.7 million in cap space as of Wednesday night, which gives them plenty of room to continue to add key pieces to both sides of the ball.
However, the Raiders might not be looking in the right direction for their quarterback. According to Jerry McDonald from the Oakland Tribune, the Raiders are reportedly looking at Schaub as their top QB target.
Like it or not, the veteran QB Raiders have most interest in at moment is not yet a free agent _ Matt Schaub of Houston.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 12, 2014
Schaub currently isn't a free agent, but considering the fact he's in the middle of a four-year, $62 million deal and will count for around $14.1 million against the cap in 2014, it would make a lot of sense for the Texans to let him go, per Spotrac.
ESPN's Tania Ganguli went into more depth explaining why the Texans didn't release Schaub on the first day of the new league year, saying:
There will be a cap hit from dead money that will come from releasing Schaub. He's got prorated amounts of $3.5 million on his cap figures for the next three years. If his contract is terminated before June, all $10.5 million of that money would count against this year's salary cap. That would mean a savings of only $4 million off Schaub's $14.5 million cap figure. If his contract is terminated in June or later, the dead-money cap hit can be spread over two years.
That doesn't mean the Texans can't release Schaub right now. They can do that and designate him as a June release, which would allow them to take advantage of those cap savings. They'd technically have to carry his contract until then, but could move on in every other tangible way.
It is unclear whether or not the Raiders will trade for Schaub or wait for him to be released, but either way, it's not the right move.
From a statistical standpoint, Schaub's numbers have never been awful, but last year was a big concern. He completed 61.2 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a passer rating of just 73.0 despite having Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins as his two wide receivers.
In fact, the 2013 season was so bad for Schaub that he set an NFL record with four straight games with an interception returned for a touchdown and was eventually benched for Case Keenum, although Schaub did return as the starter later in the year.
Trading for Schaub would be a monumental mistake, as the Raiders would be taking on a massive contract for an average quarterback coming off of a terrible season. The Raiders could take the cap hit given the amount of cap space they have, but it would be unnecessary to take on over $14 million next season for the 32-year-old quarterback.
Should the Raiders pursue Matt Schaub?
Even if the Texans release Schaub, the Raiders should go in a different direction. While there are no long-term options at QB in free agency, the Raiders do have the No. 5 overall pick and could hope to grab a new quarterback in the draft.
Even if Oakland isn't able to land one of the big three quarterbacks in Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with the No. 5 pick, they could still grab a QB in the second round like Zach Mettenberger or Jimmy Garoppolo. Both players have legitimate potential to become starters one day, and they would both likely be better options than Schaub in the long run.
Overall, bringing in Schaub would likely be a big waste of money, even if he did end up starting for the Raiders. Instead, Oakland should continue to focus on adding players at other key positions and prepare to look in the draft for a quarterback instead of one past his prime.