McCown to the Raiders?

There continues to be strong speculation that the Raiders are close to making a decision that could go down as the biggest one the franchise has made in well over a decade: trading for Lion backup QB Josh McCown. If they do it, they’d presumably draft WR Calvin Johnson and pass on Jemarcus Russell, a potential all-time great franchise QB.

Normally, I wouldn’t waste my time breaking down a deal that has not happened, but this one could be big.

In many ways, the deal would make a lot of sense for the club. McCown has a lot of talent – a strong arm, good athleticism, and he can run – plus Johnson could be an all-time great in his own right. McCown is still considered raw, though, and I think it’s fair to say that his being somewhat lacking from the neck up is one of the main reasons he’s not playing in Mike Martz’ offense. I don’t mean to be rude or mean, but McCown does not strike me as the sharpest knife in the drawer. But while his decision-making and ability to consistently lead an offense is still in question, I saw some things toward the end of his final season in Arizona that lead me to believe he could be a terrific player, namely his making some very nice and decisive throws and good decisions. McCown fits well with the Raider way on offense, too, what with his strong arm to go along with this excellent mobility. If the Raiders do the deal, and pair Johnson with Randy Moss along with Jerry Porter (who is back in good graces with the club) then McCown would have a truly scary group of receivers to throw to. Even though we’ve used the word “scary” to describe this passing game’s potential the last two years and that hasn’t been the case at all, if all this went down, I would take a shot with him as my starter – this year.

Of course, if they do the deal, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t also add Russell. McCown is on the last year of his deal, so unless a new one was struck along with the trade, he’d be free to go in 2008. I would, however, have to guess that if they did this deal it’s less than 50/50 they would also take Russell #1. And if that’s the case, Cleveland Brown fans will have to get on their knees and thank the man above because Russell to the Browns would truly be a gift. For the record, I don’t think Russell is a very good fit for Martz’ offense, and I think the Lions would actually prefer Brady Quinn based on their offensive system.

There are a lot of “what ifs” in this story, but if McCown to the Raiders happened and always interesting NFL draft will be downright fascinating.

Category: Fantasy Football


9 Responses

  1. PackFan says:

    If I’m the Raiders, the only way I make this deal is if the Lions are willing to accept in trade a used ball bag, a kicking tee, and maybe some paint for the goal post … or, assuming their current collection of Motown ball bags are all blue in color and not black – take Randy Moss instead. (I’m sure they’d opt for quality here, and take the used ball bag.)

    If this is the same McCown that didn’t quite work out with the Cardinals, and chose a 2-year contract with the Lions instead of the Raiders to begin with, I think I’d wait a year and see if I could simply sign him for free after his current deal with Detroit runs out, assuming he’s not content chatting with Kitna on the sidelines everytime the defense takes the field. What’s the rush? It’s not a date with the Super Bowl this year, for sure.

    I used to hear time and again that it took at least five years to properly develop an NFL quarterback, and though I don’t claim to be an expert, it seems to me this is the most under-coached position in the league, at least on some teams. That, and the failure to surround him with quality blockers and skilled people.

    Last year’s disfunctional Raider squad was headed by a returning coach who was hired so late in the game that it was a bit difficult to find quality assistants willing to hop onto the Raider bandwagon, and the offense was coordinated by some guy who took a year off from running his bed & breakfast. Why not let the young guy put together a quality staff, including a top notch quarterbacks coach who can teach and motivate, and spend those high picks on a playmaker like Adrian Peterson, or Calvin Johnson, and perhaps a couple of top-notch offensive line prospects in the 2nd and 3rd rounds – and see if either of their two current quarterbacks can be “coached-up” to function in their new system? Hiring a new used quarterback and then trotting out the likes Moss and Porter for him to rely on more than likely means the silver & black will be picking in the top five again in 2008.

    Come on John! There’s NO WAY you’re going to pick McCown as your starting QB if he goes to the Raiders this season! I cannot believe I just read that! I think you’re prime objective here was to get a rise out of your readers … and if so, it worked well on me.

    The Raiders have spent big bucks on Moss the last two years, and the only thing he’s given them is attitude. This season he’ll be collectng something like 8 or 10 million – and he’s pushing 30 years of age – where’s the incentive for him to bust his butt? And Porter? In the last five seasons, how many receivers have disappointed fantasy owners more than this guy?

    The Raider defense played pretty well at times last year … it’s the offense that needs new playmakers at WR and RB. A quarterback is just going to serve as a punching bag until the line can block and the skilled people scare the defenses.

    Sorry for blowing up here … maybe it’s all the talk here in central Wisconsin of a Randy Moss for Aaron Rodgers trade that’s scaring me. :O>

  2. John Hansen says:

    I think one thing you’re missing is if they deal for McCown, they likely also get Calvin Johnson, who could be the best receiver in football in a couple of years.

  3. The Commish says:

    John, you seem to indicate that they can’t get Cal. Johnson unless they get McCown. That seems kind of silly to me. There are tons of options where they don’t have to trade for a QB, and they can still draft the best player in the draft. They could stick with their current QBs, try to sign one of the FA QBs on the market (David Carr comes to mind), or just wait a year, and pick someone up in FA next year, or draft a QB high next year. You know they’ll be picking in the top 5 no matter what direction they go this year, and as PackFan said, its not like McCown would be taking them to the playoffs or the Super Bowl. I just don’t understand why you would give anything up for a guy that couldn’t make it in Arizona. If anything you would set your organization further back, while you give McCown a couple of years to show that he is still not a winning QB in the NFL.

  4. John Hansen says:

    I don’t intend to indicate that, but I do feel they’ll either take Russell or Johnson and if they do a deal for McCown, then the chances are good they take Johnson. I think if they don’t take Johnson it’ll be because they took Russell. On McCown, he won’t cost a lot, since he’s in the final year of his contract. He might command only a 5th round pick. Sometimes, you don’t have the luxury of acquiring a proven player and you have to project success based on talent. The Texans are projecting success with Matt Schaub, and they will likely be right. On McCown and the Cardinals, can we really blame a young QB playing on the Cardinals, with no good back and one good receiver?

  5. The Commish says:

    I definitely hear what you are saying about the situation with the Cardinals, and is a huge thing to look at when evaluating players (especially RBs), however, my only issue is, is Oakland next year really going to be that much better than those Cardinals teams were? Maybe Al Davis has struck gold on a young coach again, but Kiffin has a lot of work to do with that offense, especially making sure that his WRs are playing hard for whatever QB they have. Also a good point if it is only a late day 2 pick. Not really giving up much there. My bigger concern would be that they give him a contract that will lock them for giving him more than a 1 year shot at turning his career around.

  6. The Commish says:

    John, don’t want you to think I’m being argumentative just to be a pain. I just enjoy the conversations that Fantasy Football can produce. Feel free to come over and give me the business about some of my predictions or rankings at the TUFL blog. And thanks for your insight. Its always helpful to hear what others are thinking.

  7. John Hansen says:

    No worries. It’s only pre-draft fodder, anyway.

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