Bruce Gradkowski is currently among the Raiders long list of restricted free agents.
In 2009 his playing time was cut short by injury as he was only able to play in three full games. Yet in that short time he was able to impress and bring hope to much of the teams fan base.
As a restricted free agent the Raiders have a lot of options and will need to make a choice on what to do with the journeyman QB.
Here's a look at what the Raiders can do with the scrappy QB.
1. let him walk.
The Raiders choose to do nothing. As an RFA though the Raiders are given first dibs in negotiating with him, they are not required to offer RFAs a new contract. If the Raiders come to the same conclusion as the Bucs, Browns and Rams did. Then this is a likely scenario.
2. Long term deal.
The Raiders may give Gradkowski a multi-year deal and lock him up for the next couple of years. If they decide that he has a part in the Raiders future and then this is a likely scenario. But given Gradkowskis' history, recent injury and the fact that he only played three full games as a Raider. A long term deal is very unlikely.
3. Give him a tender offer.
This is the most likely scenario and will likely lock up Gradkowski for another year. And if a team should out-bid the Raiders for Gradkowskis' services then the Raiders will be compensated with a draft pick. The Raiders have multiple options regarding a tender offer:
Low tender 1.1 million. If the Raiders offer him the lowest tender they can be easily outbid and his value is dictated by where he was drafted. Meaning all a team would have to give up to land Gradkowski is a sixth round pick.
Medium tender 1.7 million. Should the Raiders offer Gradkowski the medium tender. Then in order to steal Gradkowski away a team would have to cough up a second round draft pick.
High tender 2.4 million. If Gradkowski is given the high offer his value increases to a 1st rounder. With a high tender Gradkowskis' chances of remaining a Raider are very high as it is unlikely any team would be willing to pay such a high price for a mostly unproven QB.
Highest tender 3.1 million. If the Raiders were to offer him this contract it would all but guarantee him in silver and black. As his value would increase to a 1st and a third, a price no team in their right mind would pay.
Franchise Tag $15-plus million. If franchised Gradkowski will receive the average salary of the top five paid QBs in the NFL. The Raiders have two franchise tags, one of which was used on Richard Seymour... No way in hell this happens. But if a team wanted Gradkowski they would have to out-bid us and offer up two 1st rounders.
Ideally, in my opinion, the Raiders should offer him the $1.7 million tender. As the guy is a decent backup and has proved little playing in only three full games. Should a team out-bid us for his services, then so be it at least we are compensated with a second rounder.
Personally I wouldn't be disappointed if the Raiders just let him walk without as much as even a low tender offer.
We will have to wait and see which decision the Raiders come to.