The Raiders are in the odd position this offseason of having to spend money.
Because Oakland is so far under the projected salary cap for 2015, the Raiders will be able to spend a significant amount to bring in what general manager Reggie McKenzie calls high-impact free agents.
But that doesn’t mean the Raiders won’t part ways with players that haven’t been wise investments. In the past few days, it’s been reported that often-injured safety Tyvon Branch and defensive end LaMarr Woodley both will be released.
But if there’s one player most Raiders fans would expect to be cut loose, its quarterback Matt Schaub.
The former Texans quarterback ranked as the team’s No. 1 personnel mistake of last season. McKenzie acquired Schaub from Houston and expected him to win the starting job and rebound from a horrible 2013 season. Instead, Schaub wasn’t impressive in summer camp, lost the starting job to rookie Derek Carr and became just a high-priced holder.
Schaub threw just 10 passes, but had two of them intercepted. His QB rating was just 27.9.
Now Schaub is due $5.5 million for this season – money that could be spent much more wisely on a player capable of contributing more.
Yet while it seems logical that Schaub will soon be gone, McKenzie recently told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that “it’s always realistic” that Schaub might return.
Young quarterback Matt McGloin already has shown that he’s a better backup than Schaub. In brief stints over two seasons (and in the preseason) McGloin has been effective.
Yet Schaub, according to several reports, has been a good influence on Carr, helping him study and prepare for games and being a helpful, professional teammate.
McKenzie even hinted that if the Raiders hold on to him a while, perhaps another team might trade for him – allowing the Raiders to get something in return.
But, everything else points to the Raiders letting him go soon. That could come as soon as this week, or perhaps by the March 10 kickoff to the free agency season.
While the Raiders can continue to shed salaries to lower their payroll even further --- the release of running back Maurice Jones-Drew (who will count $2.5 million vs. the cap this season) would be another expected move – it’s hard to see Oakland paying $5.5 million to an untrustworthy backup QB.