First of all, I know most of you haven't seen me here before, I'm more of a contributor on the San Jose Sharks blog Fear the Fin. But all you need to know is that I am a lifelong Raider fan and come here and read all the time.
The NFL follows a very basic formula: struggling teams draft a franchise quarterback and then build around him. This process can take anywhere between 2-5 years but it has been proven to work for several teams in the NFL and is currently a work in progress for several modern franchises.
Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman are all potential saviors of the St Louis Rams, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively but have been regressing of late. Youngsters Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have been serviceable since their entrance into the NFL. Their teams will go as far as they will take them. When healthy, Matt Stafford has performed quite well, and what was once an 0-16 team a matter of seasons ago is now a legit playoff contender. Cam Newton is well on his way to resurrecting the Carolina Panthers and the Cleveland Browns will probably want a do-over on Colt McCoy.
Look for new teams (Colts being one of them) to go for future potential superstars like Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley to replicate this formula in the near future. It is a formula that is simple and will continue to be used every year by any declining franchise.
He who shall not be named was SUPPOSED to be the savior of our franchise after we toyed around with quarterbacks like Andrew Walter, Dante Culpepper, and Kerry Collins and had the worst stretch of football in NFL history having double digit losses season after season. We finally had the first overall pick of the draft and used it to get a franchise quarterback, but he purple drank his way out of the league.
The Raiders have found recent success without him and are on pace to making the playoffs for the first time since the Rich Gannon era. However, one huge question remains: what is to be done regarding our future quarterback situation?
Carson Palmer is already 31 and on the decline in his career. Trading for him cost us a first round pick in next years draft and what could very well be another first rounder in the year after that. So getting a new franchise quarterback sometime in the next 2 years is probably out of the question. We have built a solid corps with a lot of young (and fast, of course) talent and finally have a proven quarterback at the helm. However, as Palmer gets older, slower, and less mentally agile; without another franchise quarterback within reach in the NFL draft for at least 2 more years. What will the Raiders do?
So what does the Raider nation think? We are one of the few teams not currently employing this formula and we probably won't be able to anytime soon unless we trade up.