Question: Is it possible for the Raiders to sign Atlanta backup quarterback Matt Schaub after the draft, sending future draft picks to Atlanta instead of this year's premium picks? Who better to run new offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp’s offense?
Patrick Plunkett, Burlington, Ontario
Answer: The chances of the Raiders acquiring Schaub remain slim, before or after the draft. Schaub is a restricted free agent and Atlanta has already tendered a one-year contract worth more than $2 million according to published reports. The tender includes a clause that a team signing Schaub this offseason would give the Falcons a first and third-round draft choice.
Before or after the draft, that’s a hefty price for a career backup, even if he is highly regarded.
Also, new head coach Lane Kiffin said he plans to call plays and it’s not clear exactly what the offense will look like. It probably won’t be the West Coast offense Knapp has run, so Schaub would have to learn new things just like any other quarterback coming to the Raiders.
The best chance for the Raiders to land a veteran quarterback is in free agency. Teams could still release veterans before the start of training camp.
Right now, there aren’t exactly any veteran quarterbacks available that are likely to make Raider fans happy.
Some quarterbacks available include Joey Harrington and Drew Bledsoe. Harrington has been erratic at times, and if you think Andrew Walter is immobile, you definitely wouldn’t want to see Bledsoe with the Raiders.
They could try to convince Aaron Brooks to come back at a low salary, but that’s unlikely. Also, with the Raiders expected to draft a quarterback with the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, quarterbacks aren’t racing to sign with the Raiders knowing by Week 4, questions about when to play the top overall pick would start.
If the Raiders want to make a trade, they could try to land Jake Plummer from Tampa Bay. But he has already said he is retiring rather than play for Tampa Bay and I can’t imagine him ending retirement to become a Raider.
Kansas City’s Trent Green could be had, but he makes a lot of money and reportedly is looking at Miami if he is traded.
In other Raider news, Taver Johnson, hired to be assistant defensive line coach by the Raiders last month, has already quit to become cornerbacks coach at Ohio State.
“There may be (problems) coming up to be honest with you,” Johnson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Coach Kiffin understood. I won’t say he was happy about it, but he really understood. He didn’t kick me out or anything.”
Johnson, 34, is an Ohio native and obviously couldn’t pass up the chance to coach in his home state. He grew up in Cincinnati and played at college football at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.
He’d been the defensive coordinator at Miami of Ohio when he accepted the Raiders job.
- Jason Jones