Updates from Thursday, March 27
Schaub will make $8 million in 2014 under terms of a new deal officially signed on Wednesday. He’ll earn $4.5 million in fully guaranteed salary, with a $3.5 million signing bonus to be paid on March 31. He also has $3 million in incentives based upon playing time, the Pro Bowl and whether the Raiders make the postseason
That’s a stark contrast to a $10 million base salary and $1 million roster bonus slated for 2014 under his old deal, which lasted through the 2016 season and included significant raises each year.
Schaub’s new deal eliminates the final year of the old contract. It now extends through 2015, when he is scheduled for a $5.5 million base salary earned he starts the 2015 regular season with the Raiders. That season also features an identical incentive structure to 2014.
Updates from Monday, March 24
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provides financial details surrounding Matt Schaub's move to the Oakland Raiders:
From what I understand, Matt Schaub's cap number for 2014 is now around $7.5M. He re-did his deal with the #Raiders after the trade.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 24, 2014
Matt Schaub was once considered the answer at quarterback for the Houston Texans. With the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick in their possession, however, the Texans made the decision to move on by trading him to the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders made things official on Friday:
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added more detail:
NFL Network's Albert Breer talked about some of the financial implications in play in the deal:
Cap ramifications ... Oakland would carry $11M (base + roster bonuses) for Schaub in '14. Houston saves $4M, with $10.5M in dead $ in '14.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 21, 2014
Also, Matt Schaub's contract calls for $13.5 million in 2015 and $15.5 million in 2016.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 21, 2014
ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that Schaub restructured his deal:
Raiders QB Matt Schaub restructured deal with OAK, lowering base salary and cap # this year; still can earn $15-$20M the next two seasons.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2014
Considering how poorly Schaub performed in 2013, it isn't particularly shocking that Houston has parted ways with its longtime signal-caller. The Texans dropped off considerably last season and devolved into the NFL's worst team. Schaub was certainly a large part of the problem.
Schaub's first six seasons with the Texans were fruitful, as he earned two Pro Bowl selections and led Houston to the first two playoff appearances in franchise history. As Schaub found out last season, that type of success can be forgotten quite quickly.
Which party will benefit most from this parting of ways?
Schaub suffered through what was easily the worst season of his career in 2013, going 2-6 in eight starts and throwing more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (10). After a disappointing start and an ankle injury, he was ultimately usurped by Case Keenum, and the writing was on the wall regarding Schaub's future in Houston.
The fact that Gary Kubiak was fired as head coach last season and replaced with Bill O'Brien during the offseason made things even clearer. Generally speaking, new head coaches prefer to bring in their own guy, and that is precisely what O'Brien will do.
Despite that, O'Brien was noncommittal about Schaub's future with the Texans when asked about his status back in February. Per Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com, the Houston head coach had yet to make a determination at that point.
"There's different stages to the process," O'Brien said. "You don't get to know somebody during a dead period where you can only have an introductory type of conversation with him."
Once free agency rolled around, the popular thought seemed to be that the Texans would release Schaub. That never came to fruition, though, as Rapoport reported that the Texans preferred to trade him:
As pointed out by Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times, however, Schaub's contract was a potential stumbling block:
Matt Schaub's base salaries for 2014-16, respectively, are $10 million, $12.5 million, $14.5 million. No, no and heck no.— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) March 16, 2014
Even so, the Texans were able to unload the 32-year-old veteran and move on to the next chapter in team history. Now that Schaub finds himself in a new situation, it will be interesting to see if he can resurrect his career.
Schaub was unquestionably brutal in 2013, but that wasn't an accurate representation of how he has performed over the course of his career. Perhaps a change of scenery will allow Schaub to get back to basics and return to form.
According to 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, NFL Network analyst and future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner believes in Schaub's ability to rebound:
Should #Raiders pursue Matt Schaub? Kurt Warner: "I believe Schaub is a top-15 / top-20 QB talent in the NFL...he's definitely a starter"— 95.7 The GAME (@957thegame) March 17, 2014
Despite Schaub's track record, he was rarely given much credit for the Texans' success. Praise was usually reserved for the defense, wide receiver Andre Johnson or running back Arian Foster. When things went sour last year, though, observers were quick to place the blame on Schaub.
It's important to remember that Schaub threw for 4,000 or more yards in a season on three occasions while with the Texans, and he remains the only quarterback in team history to take Houston to the playoffs.
His resume is sparkling aside from the 2013 season, so it's easy to understand why a team was willing to take a chance on him—especially the Raiders, who are no strangers to QB woes. Schaub has already helped bolster one struggling franchise, and perhaps he can do the same elsewhere.
Even if Schaub does manage to bounce back, the Texans shouldn't be blamed for moving on. It is blatantly obvious that all parties involved needed a fresh start, and it's likely that both Schaub and the Texans organization will be better for it moving forward.
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