While the free agency period is not playing out exactly as many expected, there are a few more predictable moves the team either has made or will make. One such move was adding a veteran backup quarterback. And the most obvious choice was Christian Ponder due to his ties with Raiders offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave.
Ponder's signing was made official today. With his addition, another expected move should happen in short order -- the release of Matt Schaub.
Schaub carries a $5.5 million salary, all of which counts against the salary cap this season. This after carrying an $8 million cap hit in 2014 despite being the backup all season due to elbow tendinitis in the preseason. He appeared in two games and in four possessions, he had two interceptions and two fumbles. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown. It was clear then that Schaub was not the answer even as a fill-in.
For those reasons, his removal was a no-brainer. And yet as of today he is still on the roster.
There has never been any rush to cut him for the Raiders because they have plenty of cap room with which to work. But backup QB's carry some value in the league so the Raiders are likely attempting to trade him to a needy team for a low round pick, which is what they gave up to get him in the first place. Though, with his current salary and the feeling that his arm may be shot, it's hard to imagine any team bothering.
With Ponder in Oakland, there are just a couple decent backup QB's on the market in Matt Moore and Colt McCoy who could be holding out for a team they can have a shot to compete for a starting job.
The Raiders should soon find out if Schaub carries any value in trade. And if not, they have his replacement in place and can move forward with Derek Carr, Matt McGloin, and Christian Ponder and bring in a camp arm at some point.