Oakland Raiders: What Does the Future Hold for Matt McGloin?

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November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O’Brien (right) talks to quarterback Matt McGloin (11) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Potential Trade?

Even if McGloin has a strong preseason, there is almost no chance he supplants either Carr or Schaub on the depth chart, unless one of those two sustains a massive injury or under-performs immensely.  Reports out of camp suggest that all Raider QB’s are “crisp” and playing well so far in practice (reports said the exact opposite last year at this time), so the chances of Schaub or Carr blowing it and being overtaken by McGloin seem slim, barring injury.  But a strong showing by McGloin in preseason may hasten his departure in Oakland.

The NFL is, as we’ve all heard a thousand times, a quarterback-driven league.  Several teams around the league have quarterback situations far shakier than the Raiders and it’s only a matter of time until a projected starter or two around the league gets hurt in preseason.  Should McGloin play well in preseason, he may become one of the hotter quarterbacks in the trade market – a young guy who can play competent football and, most importantly, has a very low cap number.  After all the Seattle Seahawks were willing to part with a draft pick for Terrelle Pryor in the offseason, a player who McGloin beat out for a starting job.

One potential landing spot is Houston, where Case Keenum, Tom Savage and Ryan Fitzpatrick are auditioning for the starting job in Bill O’Brien’s offense.  O’Brien, you may remember was McGloin’s coach at Penn State during his impressive senior year and he may want to bring in a young, inexpensive quarterback who is familiar with his system and terminology, especially if his current group of quarterbacks fail to impress.  McGloin would likely not be any team’s choice to be their starter this year, but as of right now he may be the best 3rd string QB in the league and he comes cheaper than a number of veteran free agents. Trading a late round pick for a backup QB is not unheard of in the league, even for teams who are confident in their starters (case in point: Seattle traded a 7th for Pryor, who is clearly not going to compete with Russell Wilson).  As teams get a better handle on their overall quarterback situation from top to bottom, McGloin could become a commodity – not necessarily a hot one, but at least warm.

Of course, Reggie McKenzie is under no pressure to trade or move McGloin.  McGloin is a UFA and one of the lowest-paid players on his roster, and Reggie can certainly afford to keep him buried at number 3 on the depth chart in case of dire, dire emergency. Derek Carr may (although I sincerely doubt it) not pan out right away, or an injury to Carr or Schaub may necessitate McGloin being promoted to second string again.  McGloin is a tough, hard-working, scrappy player who has overcome adversity and doubters at multiple points in his road to the NFL, and has managed to prove, at least for now, that he belongs on an NFL roster.  He may be proving it to other teams this preseason.