When Oakland Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie traded up in the 2016 NFL Draft and surrendered a pick to take quarterback Connor Cook that signaled to many that backup Matt McGloin’s roster spot was being challenged. It is, but probably not for the 2016 campaign.
Entering his fourth season, McGloin became a restricted free agent and the Raiders rewarded his efforts with a 1-year, $2,553,000 contract in the form of a second round RFA tender. Basically, the backup will earn more than all the other quarterbacks’ average 2016 salaries combined — Cook ($739,973), Garret Gilbert ($450,000) and Derek Carr ($1,342,950) for a total of $2,532,923, according to spotrac.com.
Obviously, the organization places a high value on McGloin’s services. So, unless Cook turns out to be the next Dan Marino, it wouldn’t make good football sense to oust a guy that has game experience and familiarity with the offense. However, in 2017 McGloin becomes an unrestricted free agent and the salaries of No. 2 quarterbacks continue to rise.
The Jaguars Chad Henne will earn an average of $4 million, the Cardinals Drew Stanton $3.25 million, and the Eagles soon-to-be third stringer Chase Daniel hits the books for a whopping $7 million, according to overthecap.com.
As McGloin heads into free agency, Reggie will face re-signing key starters including cornerback David Amerson, running back Latavius Murray, and slot receiver Seth Roberts. In 2018, Khalil Mack and Carr are expected to command top NFL salaries.
If McGloin were on the open market this year, he’d likely have been signed by one of the quarterback-needy teams such as Cleveland, NY Jets or Denver. Keep in mind that the relatively unproven Broncos signal caller Brock Osweiler cashed in to the tune of $18 million per year.
The Raiders may not be able to reasonably allot a large enough cap number to the No. 2 signal caller spot to keep McGloin wearing Silver and Black after this season. So, McKenzie now has Cook in place as an insurance policy.
McGloin may have a good shot at being a starter with another franchise and Raider Nation can point to him and say, "Yeah, that guy. The Raiders are so good he was our backup."