On Friday afternoon, the Raiders flew in QB Matt Schaub into Alameda, where he would complete his physical, enabling the completion of a trade that sent Schaub to Oakland, in exchange for a 6th round draft pick for the Houston Texans.
Schaub spent the past seven seasons with the Texans, which included 128 games, 24,254 passing yards, 130 touchdowns and 84 interceptions, with a QB rating of 89.8. Schaub is a two-time Pro Bowler, having earned those honors in 2009 and 2012. However, the 2013 saw Schaub struggle mightily, as the Texans ended the season with a 2-14 record and left fans wondering what went wrong.
Despite the problems in Houston, Schaub was still a target for the Raiders, who faired poorly with both Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin and QB last season, and are in need of a major boost under center.
"At the end of the 2013 season, we made a number one priority as an organization to identify and acquire a proven, winning starting quarterback in the National Football League. It became obvious early on in that search of the quarterbacks that Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans was a player that may become available and we felt like he was a player that would meet that role," said Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson at the press conference to announce the signing.
Schaub has a $14.5 million salary-cap figure and a $10 million base salary for 2014, and he is banking on a change of scenery being just what the doctor ordered in hopes of getting back on track.
"A fresh start can do a lot of things for a player and a team. I’m one of those guys. Last year did not go at all how I had planned, given my prior nine years before that. I’m looking for a fresh start. I’m excited about the opportunity here and the players on this team, the coaches, the plan and the direction. Reggie has brought in a great mix of young players as well as veteran leaders and proven players in this business and I’m excited to be a part of the direction that this team is heading," said Schaub.
In 2012, Schaub threw for over 4,000 yards, but the 2013 campaign proved much more difficult with a foot injury and an abundance of interceptions; something Schaub is aiming to address this upcoming season.
“Foot’s great, healthy. Excited about this opportunity, moving on. The past is the past. I can’t do anything about that except move on to bigger and better things. I’m excited for what the future holds here with Oakland. Just excited to get to work. I’m happy to be here and I’m very confident in my abilities and the players on this team," added Schaub.
For Raider fans, it's been 12 long years since the team has had a successful quarterback in Rich Gannon. Despite draft picks, free agent signings and trades, the team has been unable to pick up a QB that has the tools to get the team winning again. Asked about that precise situation, Schaub said he feels confident he can fill that void.
“Without question, I think I’m that guy," proclaimed Schaub. "That’s one of the most unique and intriguing aspects of coming to this organization is the rich and storied tradition that they have here, especially at this position. There are so many great quarterbacks that have played here, played at a championship level. It’s just great to possibly be a part of that and make my name here, but also with the organization and be a part of this special situation.”
Only time will tell if Schaub will be able to deliver the goods to make Oakland competitive again, but no doubt fans will be watching with critical eyes in anticipation of what he can do in Silver and Black.