The Oakland Raiders' brass has made it clear they will strive to make upgrades at the quarterback position this offseason. The Raiders have more than 60 million dollars in salary cap space to improve their entire roster, but that may not be a very good option for upgrading the quarterback position. This year's free agent signal callers are among the weakest.
Teams rarely allow franchise type quarterbacks to leave, thus the players that do hit the market usually have glaring holes in their game. If Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie wants to find a quarterback via free agency, his top options are Michael Vick, Chad Henne, Josh Freeman, and Josh McKown. None of those players will make Oakland significantly better next season and zero are a long term answer.
The Raiders currently have Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin as their options. Both played well at times in 2013, but neither showed the ability to be a clear cut starter. With development, both are capable of playing but not at a top tier level. The coaching staff showed their lack of trust in both quarterbacks by switching starters in the season finale.
Oakland could grab one of these free agent veterans to be a stopgap for one or two seasons and draft a quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Then they would have the chance to develop Pryor, McGloin, and the draft pick while a Michael Vick or McKown start. McKenzie tried to do this in the 2013 NFL Draft by selecting Tyler Wilson in the fourth round, but he was unable to make the final roster. They also could hope a veteran is cut as a salary cap causality like Matt Schaub and go that route.
With the salary cap space available, the Raiders roster should be massively improved next season. That will help any quarterback the team parades out, but the position is an area of concern. McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen are under pressure to win immediately after back to back 4-12 seasons. With that certainly affecting their plan, it will be very interesting to see what direction they take to find that elusive quarterback.
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