We start this year's Free Agent Wishlist series where we usually do -- the quarterback position. But unlike previous years, that is one of the few positions where the Raiders won't be desperately seeking a starter. They have their man in Derek Carr who showed enough as a rookie to earn his shot to be the franchise quarterback the Raiders need.
As is typically the case, there isn't much to choose from in free agency at quarterback. So, luckily the Raiders won't be making it a huge priority. They will need to cut ties with Matt Schaub and his $8 million salary and bring in someone to compete with Matt McGloin to be the primary backup. For those purposes, there are actually a few decent options.
Here are the ones who appear most likely to get a look from the Raiders.
The former 12th overall pick spent his first three seasons in the NFL with Bill Musgrave as his offensive coordinator, who took the same position with the new staff in Oakland. Ponder became a starter in his rookie season under Musgrave and in their second season, the Vikings finished with a 10-6 record with Ponder having his best passer rating of 81.2. What Musgrave did that season was ride his workhorse back, Adrian Peterson to over 2000 yards. It took the pressure off Ponder to win games for them. A reunion in Oakland could be a good thing for Ponder, allowing him to possibly latch on somewhere as a backup and try to get his career on track.
Here is what Christopher Gates of Daily Norseman had to say about Ponder:
Was mostly reviled during his time in Minnesota. Fans thought he was drafted far too high (and he probably was), and he had some stretches of pretty rough play during his time as the Vikings' starting quarterback. He also had some pretty good games, too, but nobody ever seems to want to discuss those.
Ponder doesn't have the biggest arm in the league, and still has a tendency to bail out of the pocket far too early. He also seemed to regress quite a bit this season in Norv Turner's offense. He got one start this season, a Thursday night game in Green Bay, and looked pretty awful. Still, I don't think it's too late for him to develop into something solid at the National Football League level.
He is 35 years old and is at the point in his career where he fully understands his role is to be that veteran backup who is always ready to step in at a moment's notice and hopefully keep the offense afloat. Actually, that has been his role for a while and it has served him well for quite some time. He's that dependable backup QB NFL teams covet. That's what he was in San Francisco for four seasons from 2006-09. He played well enough in limited games that he was signed by the Lions and started 10 games his first season. After spending the past five seasons in Detroit and St Louis, perhaps a trip back to the Bay Area is in order?
The Southern California native has spent his entire NFL career on the East Coast with the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins. A trip back to the West Coast could be a welcome idea for him. Undrafted out of Oregon State, Moore has had to fight for every bit of playing time he's gotten. He is viewed as one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league with the ability to step in and give quality starts should the need arise, and it has 49 times in his 7-year career including 25 starts. His best season was his first year in Miami in 2011 when he threw for 16 TD's to 9 interceptions in 12 starts.
Here is what Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider had to say about Moore:
He wants to test the market to see if there is a starting job somewhere, at least one that will give him a fair shot at competing for the top spot on the depth chart. Moore is a really, really nice luxury for Miami, because he is a really good backup quarterback. If he does not feel there is a viable starting job for which he could compete, he might consider returning to Miami. At this point, however, I think the team has to be expecting him to sign somewhere else in 2015.