Right now the Oakland Raiders’ quarterback situation is quite possibly the most talked about, most scrutinized, and most rumored story concerning the National Football League. Well, at least it is here in the Bay Area.
Could the Raiders really be trying to bring Donovan McNabb to Oakland? If they do, would he also get a police escort to the Raiders’ facility like Randy Moss did?
Lost in the big story of McNabb in silver and black is the story about the Raiders in talks with the Minnesota Vikings about the availability of their backup, (while Brett Favre is wearing purple), Sage Rosenfels. Unlike the rumors of McNabb, the Rosenfels rumor isn’t creating a ton of excitement, which isn’t surprising when you compare the two players and their careers.
So you think you want McNabb, the perennial Pro Bowl quarterback who has been a playoff contender for most of his career? Are you sure?
I can’t say I blame you. McNabb has thrown for 32,873 yards and rushed for 3,249 while carrying a career 86.5 QB Rating over his 11 seasons in the NFL. He also holds seven Eagles all-time records and is the least-intercepted quarterback per pass attempt all time. What Raiders fan wouldn’t want him calling the shots on their team?
The problem is, McNabb might not be the better fit for an organization that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002 and has struggled to win just 29 games over the last seven seasons. McNabb reportedly wants to be sent to a Super Bowl contender, which the Raiders currently aren’t, and then there is the issue with his contract being up in a year.
The difference in compensation between the two quarterbacks is about what you’d expect when comparing a Pro Bowl starter to a career backup. In 2009, McNabb brought in $12,507,280 (base salary of $9,200,000), while Rosenfels received $2,005,330 (base salary of $2,000,000) to sit behind Favre.
That’s a big consideration when you consider that JaMarcus Russell made $11,255,440 with a base of $7,805,880 in 2009. Base salaries only go up during a contract, so he’ll be making more in 2010, unless he doesn’t start a game.
If McNabb is a Raider, you can be assured of seeing another quarterback take the field for anywhere from two to six games next season. In McNabb’s 11 seasons, he’s only been able to play a full 16 games four times.
So if Russell is still a Raider, you can bet to see him calling the shots for a third of the season. It’s simple economics and Russell simply makes too much not to get the first shot of replacing McNabb.
The common belief is that the Raiders will be dumping Russell should they acquire McNabb with a contract extension. Rumors about Russell’s weight have been that he reported to voluntary workouts at anywhere from 271 to 290 pounds, which as anyone who’s followed the beefy quarterback knows is a recipe for disaster.
Considering that the Raiders already have journeymen Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski returning next fall, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders committing to Rosenfels to be their starter. However, it’s not so out of the realm of possibility that they would acquire Rosenfels to compete with one of their other journeymen, cut Russell, and then draft another big-time prospect.
As much as I hate to say it, that just sounds far too logical for the silver and black. Only Al Davis has those answers.
The fact remains that it doesn’t matter who the Raiders put behind center. Until they can protect the signal caller, field a group of receivers that can consistently get open, and find a consistent rushing attack, even McNabb won’t help.
How long do you think it would be before McNabb didn’t want to play in Oakland? That is, assuming he wouldn’t mind coming to Oakland right now.
TMZ.com is reporting that McNabb is refusing to go to Oakland. TMZ reports, “a source close to McNabb tells TMZ, ‘He does NOT want to play for the Raiders and would refuse the trade.‘”