Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders should stay young at quarterback in 2014


All January Just Blog Baby will be previewing the 2014 offseason and recapping the 2013 Oakland Raiders season. Check back daily for breaking news, columns, and analysis from the JBB staff. 

As many know, the Oakland Raiders are going to be one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL during the 2014 offseason. Boasting massive amounts of cap space and having a long list of needs and few surefire locks on their depth chart, general manager Reggie McKenzie has many decisions to make that will be deciding the route the Raiders will be taking in their rebuild for years to come.

One of those decisions is at quarterback, a position that current head coach Dennis Allen has been on the record as saying the Raiders might not have the answer for the future on their current roster. That goes as no surprise as the Raiders have the undrafted and undersized Matt McGloin and the limited Terrelle Pryor along with newly signed veteran Trent Edwards as quarterbacks currently.

Looking for a 2014 starter, McKenzie has three options. Stick with McGloin/Pryor (the unlikeliest option, but we will get back to this), go through the draft, or explore the list of free agent quarterbacks that are available this spring. All three options have no guarantees, but I lean towards free agency as being a bad idea for a variety of reasons:

Weak Free Agency Class

Following is a list of the 2014 Free Agent QB’s from overthecap.com

Michael Vick Eagles $7,500,000
Chad Henne Jaguars $3,375,000
Josh Freeman Vikings $2,833,334
Shaun Hill Lions $2,750,000
Charlie Whitehurst Chargers $1,525,000
David Garrard Jets $1,000,000
Rex Grossman Redskins $960,000
Jon Kitna Cowboys $940,000
Dan Orlovsky Buccaneers $905,000
Kellen Clemens Rams $870,000
Josh McCown Bears $865,000
Seneca Wallace Packers $840,000
Luke McCown Saints $840,000
Derek Anderson Panthers $840,000
Tarvaris Jackson Seahawks $840,000
Jimmy Clausen Panthers $807,500
Matt Flynn Packers $715,000
Trent Edwards Bears $715,000
Brady Quinn Rams $715,000
Jordan Palmer Bears $715,000
Colt McCoy 49ers $702,500
Curtis Painter Giants $630,000
Rusty Smith Titans $630,000
Joe Webb Vikings $508,129

As you can see the options are fairly bleak since Jay Cutler resigned with the Bears for a massive payday. Other than the possibility of a return of a rejuvenated Josh McCown who has thrived under a passing head coach in Marc Trestman there is not one unrestricted QB on that list that could be a long term solution for the Raiders.

Mike Vick could be a potential option if the Raiders want to make a move and wait for the 2014 draft, but his durability issues since recreating himself with the Eagles are a concern. His desire to start could see him wanting to potentially land in Oakland, but like the other QB’s on the list he is past his prime, and the majority of the UFA’s available beyond him have been career backups or busts.

Loaded Draft Class 

There is no secret surrounding the potential talent of the 2014 draft class when it comes to quarterbacks. Beyond Teddy Bridgewater who is the consensus number one draft pick, the Raiders will have a chance at potentially landing Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, or UCF’s Blake Bortles in one of the first two rounds during the draft.

Past the top four QB’s also lays a goldmine of value QB’s who have fallen due to injury, particularly SEC QB’s Aaron Murray of Georgia and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger who are both pocket QB’s that suffered ACL injuries during the second half of their senior seasons after being attached to the list of potential franchise QB’s early in the season.

McKenzie could pick from that list of QB’s and feel relatively safe that he would have at the very least a potential future starter for the Raiders with the proper situation and coaching development surrounding him. At the very least, if McKenzie picks a QB in the first two, or even three rounds he will have a quarterback that makes far more sense in their rebuilding process than a retreat unrestricted free agent quarterback from this year’s class.

McGloin’s Potential Could Develop for 2014

While he only won a single game against the Texans (and Pryor fans will let you know) Matt McGloin showed promise during his stint as Raiders starter, developing the offense into a respectable passing attack even if the team lost pretty much every game he started during their catastrophe of a second half to the 2013 season.

McGloin’s value was about more than wins and losses, as the undrafted rookie from Penn State still looked like one of the best rookie QB’s in the NFL this year despite receiving little to no first team snaps until Pryor went down to injury. When starting, the Raiders passing game and the play of wide receivers Rod Streater and Andre Holmes were at their career highs as was the play of rookie tight end Mychal Rivera. Throughout the year it was clear that McGloin was the top choice of Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson and even with the limitations that McGloin has from a measurables standpoint, he still should be considered as a prospect from the 2013 draft class more than he should be considered as an undrafted free agent by virtue of beating out fourth round pick Tyler Wilson at training camp and for the rest of the season.

There is no way to prove that McGloin will improve over the offseason and continue to show the type of performances that showcased his underrated potential to be built into a starting QB, but if the Raiders don’t want to commit to a high draft pick he might be the best and only answer to keep the Raiders competitive next year while holding out for their franchise QB in the next offseason.

Conclusion 

Whatever route Reggie McKenzie chooses this offseason at quarterback is going to be one of the main factors in the Raiders success or failure when it comes to the rebuilding process that McKenzie was handpicked to lead two seasons ago. Already missing on QB moves with Matt Flynn and Tyler Wilson in the past offseason, McKenzie can’t afford to miss again.

With the lukewarm market on free agent QB’s and one of the more talented QB classes in recent memory and a potential prospect in either McGloin or Pryor if they can improve before training camp the most logical move for McKenzie is to stay young. A team that has tried time again to pin their hopes on a once explosive talent should learn from its old ways and try to build itself a franchise QB. JaMarcus Russell still looms in the Raiders minds as a reminder of the uncertainty of the draft and NFL success, but the new front office should know that their jobs depend on finding the top QB every team in the NFL needs these days to reach the playoffs. This offseason, simply staying young appears to be the most logical option to attempt to find that longterm answer at quarterback.

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Tags: Oakland Raiders

  • Eric Kench

    I think signing Josh Freeman would be a good option. He would be reunited with Greg Olsen who was the offensive coordinator of the Bucs when he threw those 25 TDs. We could get him cheap.

  • Stanley Carr

    Fuckin stupidest shit I ever read!!! Mcgarbage, really?

  • Oscar gonzalez

    Those who think mcgloin played terrible and Pryor is a better option are ignorant. If any rookie top Draft pick played like him they would say he played well with rookie mistakes. He isn’t tall and still played better than pryor. Pryor has had 3 years to learn how to play qb and still hasn’t grasped it. Mcgloin had a year with 6 weeks with 1st team reps and learned the position a lot quicker. Every passing stat went up even the scoring with the rushing staying the same. The reason we lost so many games down the stretch was the horrible defensive play. In the beginning of the year the defense was playing good that’s why we won 3 games.

  • Stanley Carr

    I was gonna argue, but fuck it u like mcgarbage n I like Pryor !

  • Hangtownie

    Keep McCloin, I think he will be even better next year. I think he played very well for a rookie that didn’t have a great team around him. Better D and he would of won more games. Pryor? only if he will resign for cheap. Then draft someone later in the draft

  • larry depue

    how bout Vince Young not great but has won can pass and throw the ball. Let Pryor stay use as WR or such and let him learn behind Young. Use money and draft to help defense. Let Darren go unless he comes back at min pay and as more back up role player. Get some off line help through FA

  • guido

    Build up the D and let MCG play QB. The O did well when he was leading. Can’t blame him for a bad defense

  • Jetlife510

    I agree with you bro. Pryor has that cam newton spark where he can make shit happen! Look at the pre season game against the bears he came back once they out him in.

  • Jetlife510

    Im pretty sure pryor will be starting this year from what i know. Mcgloin is good as a back up just build a good solid O line for pryor and him and rashad jennings would be a threat to the D.!we do need a Veteran WR who can teach moore, streater, holmes, criner. Our D is on point just get tyvon branch healthy and we are good. Hayden just needs time and has to adapt to this organization.

  • d nice

    Yeah yeah yeah Mcgloin. Bad attitude in all. He’s our savior. Put Pryor under center or in the shotgun in the hurry up and he will match or b better than cam u limit him with that read option shit. His agent was right they hate on my nigga

  • Oscar Gonzalez

    We’re all raider fans. Let’s not get mad at each other.lol as long as they win I don’t care who plays

  • Tony Maccuish

    Pryor can’t move the chains consistently and Defenses closed down his playmaking ability with his feet once they got tape on him. He also struggles to get plays in in time and isn’t able to make all the throws needed in the NFL… I’d love pryor to be the guy but he’s not.
    Mcgloin seems to be able to run an offense and get the ball out quick and has made some great throws this year, the writer makes a valid point that he hasn’t had lots of snaps with the 1st team offense until pryor went down.
    I think mcgloin is defo our backup of the future but the jury is still out on the qb of the future… Don’t think pryor is part of the plan going forward= more tebow than cam!

  • PJ

    Well said! MM is never going to be a, yeah, never mind its a waste of time, we cant fix stupid with MM lovers! Well just wait for TP to go to the Steelers where Tomlin loves TP since high school but Al would not give him up. This organization is the biggest joke since Al started to get desperate after 2002. Im out and disgusted! TP will come back to haunt us. Mark my words!

  • Aaron

    I know its a minor mistake, but I have trouble taking the article seriously when you say Tyler Wilson was a third round pick. He was a 4th rounder, as our one true draft stand-out Sio Moore was taken in the third round. Looking beyond that, I agree, McCloin should be given every chance to develop and potentially start in 2014.

  • Oscar Gonzalez

    Well said!

  • chase ruttig

    My apologies, that is one of the risks of writing before the morning coffee kicks in.

  • Guest

    McGloin is garbage!!! Pryor has a way bigger upside

  • Manuel Tobin

    what i dont understand is why people want McGloin!!! Hes not a good QB and doesnt have an upside. TP has huge potential…. McGloin is short and doesnt have an arm. He makes some good throws but doesnt make enough of em. This guy beat the texans!!! cool… On short fields may i add as well. TP has more upside and they need to give him the playing time to develop. He was essentially a rookie this yr and they havent even let him go through the growing pains of being an NFL quaterback. Cam had his last yr RGIII had his this yr, Manning had his, his rookie year… I mean we need to devlop a quarterback and not just constantly have a qb for 1-2 yrs. Its a revolving door as well. RM and MD talk about stability and trying to fix this with no turnover but here we are not trying to develop a great athlete who can succeed at the QB position. we’re going to end up drafting derek carr or blake bortles who are going to be flat out terrible. Time to develop our QB finally and give him the opportunity…

  • ncraiderfan

    please don’t sign another so-so qb. that’s all we’ve had since gannon. our biggest problems are other areas. tp and mcg both can play well but need to be coached up and given playbook that fits them. ie alex smith. nfl is all about limiting mistakes (to be competitive). a middle-of-the-pack defense and no turnovers on offense should put you close to .500

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Hey Oscar Gonzalez, Pryor had 3 yrs. Sitting on the side lines with 3 different OC. So he did not get to sharpen his skills in College like the other rookies so just because you on a team do not mean you get the support. Pryor had the Team moving, until his injury. (93 yd. run) A rocket pass inside the read zone, oh and the deep ball drop 43yrs,.And he took and got training on his own not the organization. That is determination. So Understand Pryor gets time in a system he performs. Ask OSU. MVP of a sugar Bowl and he was not trained to throw. But McKenzie and Allen need to fix both lines and get a real running back to help Jenning and Reece, I say Hyde from OSU. With Reece and Hyde run a power run with Pryor as Qb. This would be an AWESOME offense and the emergence of Holmes, Rivera, Streater, Moore. I would see what CB’s are free agents from Seahawks, not Browner, then draft some big CB’s and a physical safety to learn from Woodson.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Do you not recall Pryor had leads in his game at half time. Defense and lack of running game. When Vendeheer cam back is when Jennings got going. Reece after last year would have been my RB anyway. So I say keep the new fullback I don’t know his name. Add Hyde from OSU. Put him and Reece in back field with a more stable front line and TP at QB. I tell you I could coach that power house.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    I feel Hayden should not have been a first rd. draft when you was not sure if he could take a hit. Not just physically but mentally, and I understand his fear of being that punishing DB he was in college. So I felt we could have went with Star Louleti the rookie DT in Carolina now that lets Kuleny be better. But back to us. Hayden had everyone scared to touch him. Or Db’s got beat and is scared to tackle except the Porter and Woodson.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    I agree with if we going to bring in a QB V. Young or M. Vick. but I was the biggest McFadden supporter, but 6 yrs. Not one full season we need to get a power running back like Hyde from OSU.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    I see you and I see the big picture with TP. Hey I will say look at 49er’s big back with a mobile Qb and a great o-line and d-line. Also receivers. We need a consistent power running Game. I keep saying Hyde from Ohio State U. with Reece. Be the Raiders of the old. with King and Eaterman I think was his name.

  • michael civitano

    Receivers made mm look good. He throws too many jump balls and has too many interceptions inside his own 20. He is not the answer. TP s confidence was taken away when he was replaced. Also mm didn’t play anyone that was any good except the chargers which aren’t that good. TP sat the bench his first 2 years and didn’t even dress. They did absolutely nothing to help him. In a sense he is a rookie also. I want wins, not deep passes that get our hopes up just to turn the ball over. Free agency is a bust for QBs. Keep both McTurnover and Pryor and draft a QB. The other guy we picked up is only a camp arm.

  • michael civitano

    Better option? Maybe not. But Mcgloin is king of interceptions inside own 20. He played 5 winnable games but only won one.If Mcgloin can improve then why can’t Pryor. Everyone already saw a difference from last year.guess we will have to see what happens. I think their both gonna sit the bench.

  • michael civitano

    He had a better line also. TP played with 3rd stringers and practice squad and still won 3 games.

  • michael civitano

    Just tells me that Mcgloin need to play better in first half.

  • Ricky Bobby

    What did DEFENSES do once they got tape on MM? How about 50% comp. 5 Td’s, 8 INTS, 3 LOST FUMBLES & an 0-5 RECORD. So WHO was REALLY FIGURED OUT?
    Lets see TP. In an OFFENSE DESIGNED FOR HIM, with the WR’s, RB’s & OL McGloin played with. Of course, TP also needs the HC to stop setting him up to FAIL, that would help considerably.

  • Ricky Bobby

    TP as a WR? Hell no, watch his 1st 4 starts, b4 DA began SABATOGING his CAREER.

  • Ricky Bobby

    What he do the next two yrs?

  • Eric Kench

    He threw for over 4000 yards in 2012. I don’t see how the Bucs coach could not believe in him as the starting QB.

  • Tony Maccuish

    Pryor can not make plays off of the whiteboard, he’s an incredible athlete with brilliant playmaking ability when things break down, but when teams game plan for this it then reduces the ways the chains can be moved… You can’t build an offense around a qb who makes the majority of his plays off the cuff… Mcgloin is more than likely not the long term guy but he is a pocket passer first, you can build an offense around a pocket passer and plug and play with guys due to injuries etc, where as if you build around pryor and he goes down, which is more likely due to the way he plays you can’t put a mcgloin, Edwards etc in to run the same offense… Football is about xs and os, If you can’t make the plays off the whiteboard as a qb, you can’t build an offense around that qb! Yeah blame DA, with the lowest paid team in the league, and a team that has been gutted over the last two years, the last two years has been a deconstruction job, unfair to judge whether he is the guy or not until this time next year…. Plus firing a coach every 2 years or less really works, just look at all the success we’ve had over the past 10 years with that philosophy!

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Verdeener came back o-line got better.