Matt Schaub hopeful for new start with the Oakland Raiders


Matt Schaub

Matt Schaub had every chance to reach the Super Bowl while he was in Houston. He had a superb running back behind him to take pressure off of him, in Arian Foster. Foster is not just good, he could end up being historically good. Also Schaub was blessed with a great defense led by athletic monster, JJ Watt. How many quarterbacks would kill to have a defense like that to keep the score tight and to give his offense great field position? All the fault cannot lie with Matt Schaub for what happened in Houston. The head coach had some guilt in the fall from Super Bowl favorite to seller dweller. That is why Gary Kubiak is no longer the head coach there. I really do not know how he lasted as long as he did.

Schaub has now went from a potential great situation with the Texans, although 2013 was a poor indicator of that, to the desert filled with skeletons of long forgotten quarterbacks. The Raider landscape is littered with names like Jeff George, JaMarcus Russell, and Carson Palmer. It is essentially a retirement home for passers. It is rarely a stepping stone to a better situation. Odds are it is the first step into retirement for a QB in reality. The Raiders are still a proud franchise, however they just cannot seem to get things rolling like they once did. Once upon a time the Raiders were a possibility to make a playoff run, and were Super Bowl champions in multiple decades. So they were a consistent winner. But those days are long gone and it is going to take the right people at the top of the food chain to turn that ship around. Do they have the right people leading them now that Al Davis has passed? Only time will tell.

Matt Schaub did have to take a pay cut of course with the Raiders. He went from a possible $14 million in 2014 to about 8 million, and the possibility of some bonuses as well. The deal is basically a one year contract since Oakland can release him after 2014 with no penalty to their salary cap. If Schaub does have anything left in the tank, then he is likely to have a decent year. Guys tend to put it all on the line and work twice as hard when their next contract is fast approaching. I imagine players’ wives go to great lengths to remind them of the need to play better on the last year of their current contract. They likely leave cute little reminders about how much the kids’ private tuition is going to be next school year and how they are going to have to upgrade the Benz very soon. I can see Matt Schaub’s wife breaking down film for the Raiders’ weekly opponent and texting tips to her hubby. Making $8 million for Oakland is not poverty level of course, but it is about half of what he would have made with the Texans this season, had he played better last year. 2014 better show some big improvement for the passer out of the University of Virginia. If not he might make less than half of his current salary the next deal he signs, which would most likely be for a backup job. Not getting a deal at all is also a possibility, depending on how bad he actually plays in 2014.

One guy that Matt Schaub wants the Raiders to bring in is, recently released receiver DeSean Jackson. That is a no brainer since Jackson is the best free agent on the market right now. Jackson is a dangerous weapon for a QB to have on the team and Schaub knows he needs plenty of help so his team can prosper and the QB can get a better contract for 2015. However, DeSean Jackson is a risky player to touch, with the gang affiliation still looming. There has to be some substance to that story because Jackson is too great a player for another team to not have snatched him up already. I am sure Schaub does not care about any of the off the field junk as long as Jackson can go deep and make his QB look good on the stat sheet. I remember Dan Marino going to court to be a character witness for one of his receivers who found himself in trouble. Old Dan needed that guy on the field so he did not concern himself with any other aspect of the guy’s conduct. I can see Matt Schaub going on DeSean Jackson’s bond if the attitude wielding speedster every got locked up for his antics off the field.

Even though the Raiders are planning on Schaub being the starter that could change depending on his play early on in preseason ball. Picking a QB in the draft is likely for the team even though they may not use their top pick for that position since they have Schaub. The Raiders have had the ex-Texan on their radar since last season when it became apparent that his old team was going to release him at the first opportunity. So it appears that Oakland at least put some thought into this free agent pick up. Some of their moves in the past were clearly just desperation. They had plenty of time to look at all the film they wanted to on their guy. They must believe that last season was just an aberration. The Raiders say they believe in Schaub because of his body of work, which is overall steady. He has not been Peyton Manning or Tom Brady during his time in Texas. But he has been a consistent QB who does more than just manage the offense. He has made big plays in the past. The fact that Houston let their old QB go so easily does speak volumes about the guy. They know him better than anyone, but Schaub was not the only problem in Houston last year, as the entire team was a letdown. 2014 gives the quarterback a fresh start, and he has all the incentive he needs to succeed. We shall see if he still has the talent to go along with that incentive.

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