Al "Grim Reaper" Davis has never been gun-shy about anything. Not on draft day, not in free agency, not on trades. Never!
And now is not the time to start! Especially not if a proven franchise QB hangs in the balance.
With that said, there are no lengths to which I wouldn't go to get Big Ben in silver and black. Including offering our first, second, and third picks this year.
Proven franchise QBs are precious commodities in the NFL. They are what make good teams great, OK teams good, bad teams OK, and (get this) terrible teams OK! There is no such thing as a bad or terrible team with a franchise QB. If you think you have a chance to get one, you do it. No question.
And notice I'm talking about proven franchise QBs. I'm not talking about drafting them. I would never draft a QB first overall. I wouldn't draft one in the top 20, and it would take a lot out of me to draft one any time after that in the first round.
And I'm not just saying this in hindsight as a Raider fan (ahem JaMarcus). Giving a rookie QB $72 million with $41 million of it guaranteed (Matt Stafford's contract) without him ever throwing a pass in the NFL is not something I would ever do. It puts a stranglehold on your franchise, and too much pressure on the QB.
Would you give the keys to your brand new Ducati to your son when he just got his permit? NO!
Maybe, just maybe, if he had his license. Why? Because he got his license and he is somewhat proven.
What I am about to say is going to be a head scratcher, but bear with me...
If you told me right now that if we traded for Big Ben he would throw 26 INTs and we would go 7-9 and miss the playoffs, I would still make the trade!
Sound familiar? Probably not.
Unless you're a Bears fan.
That's right. If I were Jerry Angelo a year ago, and Ms. Cleo told me everything that would happen with Cutler, I would still make the trade. That is how much a proven franchise QB means to me. I would mortgage a season just for the possibility of better years to come.
And being that it's the Raiders, it makes the decision that much easier. Big Ben, no draft picks, and one more losing season. Yup, that trumps JaMarcus, Gradkowski, or Clausen in my book.
So Al Davis, stick to your very old guns, and pony up for Big Ben.
We win twice in this trade. We get a proven QB, and you have fewer chances to draft busts. And don't worry, Usain Bolt will still be there for you to draft in the fourth round.