Analysing the Oakland Raiders trade for Matt Schaub

Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have apparently had their fill of young, unproven quarterbacks.

Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin floundered in 2013, so the Raiders are trading for 32-year-old Matt Schaub.

The former Houston Texans starter will join the Silver and Black in exchange for a late-round draft pick, according to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter:

Oakland Raiders now are expected to trade a 2014 late-round pick to Houston Texans in exchange for QB Matt Schaub, per league source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2014

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport says official confirmation of the trade is imminent:

The Matt Schaub-to-#Raiders trade could go down today, officially. Source says he's flying to Oakland as we speak. Physical, then deal.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2014

The move finally gives the Raiders a competent presence under center, but also rates as a strange fit for Schaub.

He has passed up the chance to join the Cleveland Browns, where he would've worked with Kyle Shanahan, who guided Schaub to his best statistical season in 2009:

Cleveland expressed some interest in Matt Schaub, who could have been reunited with Kyle Shanahan, but Oakland wanted Schaub even more.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2014

Had he have gone to Ohio, Schaub would have been greeted by a stronger supporting cast. The Browns feature Josh Gordon, a legitimate premier wide receiver, as well as prolific tight end Jordan Cameron.

The Browns also added running back Ben Tate, another former Texan and a fine zone-runner.

There are certainly far fewer riches awaiting Schaub in Oakland. The team has stitched together a revamped offensive line by adding free-agent tackles Donald Penn and Austin Howard.

The Raiders don't have a credible running game, even after bringing back super-fragile speedster Darren McFadden. A productive rushing attack is something Schaub needs.

He has limitations, but is exceptional throwing off play action. The Texans regularly used their prolific zone-based ground game to create play-action opportunities.

They also created moving pockets by letting Schaub rollout off play action. That is when he was most accurate.

One thing the Raiders can offer Schaub is a trusty veteran wide receiver. General manager Reggie McKenzie snared one when he signed ex-Green Bay Packer James Jones.

Along with Denarius Moore, Jones will give Schaub a solid tandem to aim for. But he'll need more weapons and that could put clutch tight end Owen Daniels, released by the Texans, on Oakland's radar.

Dipping back into the veteran market is a risky ploy for the Raiders, one they have paid a heavy price to take.

NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal, citing Rapoport, reports that Schaub won't have to restructure his hefty $10 million salary for this season.

That is a major outlay for a rebuilding team to pay a player who threw 14 interceptions in 2013, Schaub has also endured his share of injury problems in recent years. He missed six games with a Lisfranc problem in 2011 and succumbed to a knee injury last season.

Of course, the Raiders have found success rescuing ageing pros from the NFL's dumpster before. It worked with quarterback Rich Gannon, who took the team to a Super Bowl in 2002.

But as ESPN columnist Bill Williamson points out, that same approach also failed with the likes of Carson Palmer and Jason Campbell.

Signing Schaub is clearly a short-term move. But despite Williamson's gripes, the stability Schaub provides allows McKenzie to build the rest of the roster and wait for a franchise-calibre quarterback.

The Raiders still own the fifth pick in the draft and NFL.com College Football 24/7 writer Mike Huguenin believes the Schaub trade doesn't rule out Oakland drafting a passer in the first round.

But some of the notable quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL draft class are seeing their stock take a tumble. Teams aren't as sold on the likes of Teddy Bridgewater as they were in late-2013.

With Schaub in the fold, McKenzie could select a project quarterback at the top of the second round, such as Fresno State's Derek Carr or Eastern Illinois star Jimmy Garoppolo, a late-riser on draft boards.

Switching focus to the Texans, the trade is a smart ploy after last season's 2-14 finish. It gives new head coach Bill O'Brien an extra draft pick to help rebuild 2013's worst team.

The Texans now have eight selections in May's draft. That's a boost, considering how quiet the team has been in free agency.

The Texans acquired backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, per Houston Chronicle writer John McClain. That was a move obviously designed to facilitate Schaub's swift exit.

But the only other new arrival is mammoth nose tackle Jerrell Powe, another likely backup.

So O'Brien needs all the ammunition he can get this May. He has also cleared the path for his quarterback of the future.

The Schaub trade is unlikely to lift either the Texans or the Raiders into the playoffs in 2014. But it does represent a short-term win for both.

Houston gets an extra pick to help overhaul its ageing roster. Meanwhile, for the cost of a late-round choice, McKenzie has landed a veteran quarterback who won't hold back the rest of the Raiders' roster.