In close to a year as a professional chef, I've learnt that while it's a job that has it's perks (free food, sleep all morning, works great when picking up women in bars/clubs) one of them is most certainly not any downtime. Tonight (it being about 1:30am AEST as I write this) I worked for six hours straight in a steaming kitchen slinging food around and when I finally got a quick smoke/mobile check break with about half an hour left on shift, I was about ready to scream a hallelujah for a moment of relaxation.
Then I saw the first tweet on my timeline.
OK. I'm bailing early tonight and going home to process this shit.
About an hour later, I think I've figured it out.
First and foremost, like everything he's done in free agency so far this is a move made by Reggie because he wants to be competitive this season. The playoffs may be a season or two away yet, but the two year deconstruction and tanking period is over. It's time we picked ourselves up and rolled with the big boys. Can we do it? Like I said, in my opinion the playoffs won't happen this year (especially not with our brutal schedule) barring a few lucky breaks (i.e. Peyton getting injured and amazing luck on our side) but I think we can compete with the top teams and possibly be in position to go 6-10 or 7-9.
I personally was not keen on Schaub when I heard the Raiders were looking at acquiring him. I wanted to get Josh Freeman or Mark Sanchez - a younger FA option who may be ready to put all their talent together out of the difficult situations of their earlier teams and potentially become our franchise QB for the next 10 years.
Schaub is not that guy. He's 32 and on the decline of his career, even though I believe last year was an aberration and he's still got something in the tank. By the time the Raiders are ready to be a consistent playoff team, his career will be in its twilight years.
My prediction is that Reggie is not only far from done with the QB position, but that he may be even more likely now to take a guy with the #5 pick. If none that he likes are available, I'll stake my kid's favourite teddy bear (the loss of which would make her scream so loud I get evicted from my apartment) that we'll take one in the second or, at the latest, third round. Had we signed a Freeman or Sanchez, it's more likely that the #2 QB would have been a higher end backup, a solid veteran type with the ability to step in and manage the game should the starter blow it. (Ironically, Ryan Fitzpatrick - one of the best examples of this level of guy on the 2014 FA market - just signed with the Texans). With a steady but still capable veteran presence like Schaub under center, I can see Reggie becoming a lot more bullish in terms of taking a QB high in the draft.
A few other thoughts on the deal:
- I'm not too concerned about trading a late round pick. I'd rather do that and redo his contract so that most of the guaranteed money is paid this year, over getting into a FA bidding war with another franchise (Cleveland).
- My impression of Matt Schaub over the years is that he's a high level game manager, who can make game-winning throws but also has a knack of throwing picks at bad moments (I'm sure we all remember the Divine Interception). Also that the Texans never really succeeded until they got him a good defense and Arian Foster.