Raiders Nab Frye For No. 3 QB Battle

You already know the Raiders have a red-hot QB battle brewing for the starting quarterback job. But today's acquisition of free agent Charlie Frye indicates that even the guy who wins the third-string quarterback job will have to be win it in a dogfight.

The Raiders announced their pickup of Frye on their web page, and neither Coach Cable nor Al Davis has commented publicly. But you figure Frye's not in the mix for the starting job. He and Bruce Gradkowski will wrestle it out for the No. 3 job, while mopey Andrew Walter stands likely to be issued walking papers.

You might remember Frye having his career highlight against the Raiders in 2006. Down 21-3 at halftime in a battle of 0-3 ball clubs, Frye tossed three second half touchdowns to help his Cleveland Browns beat the Art Shell Raiders. For Charlie Frye, it was all downhill from there. He lost five of his next seven, and hasn't been a regular starter anywhere since.

But you see Tom Cable doing something in his first full season here which hadn't been done so much in previous seasons -- creating position battles. Even for backup positions and third-string positions. When you look at acquisitions like Frye, or practice-squad-journeyman receiver Samie Parker, or ex-Cowboys DB Keith Davis, you don't see potential Pro Bowlers. But you see depth, and that's important when the injury bug starts feasting on a team. 

Seriously, God help us if Charlie Frye supplants JaMarcus Russell to start. Frye may not even make the roster, but that's kind of the point. Whoever gets that spot will have won the spot competitively. Roster slots aren't guaranteed in Cable Nation, and there is attention to building a top-to-bottom ball club. There is emphasis on more than just a good group of starters.  

Charlie Frye in a No. 3 QB spot will not make the Raiders a good football team. But he could be one of the little things that helps them become a good football team.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is dodging lettuce heads from Raider fans for bringing up that Cleveland loss from 2006.

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