Mar 30, 2007
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.