The Raiders will look for a veteran quarterback in free agency, and while Josh Freeman certainly makes sense, he is not a mortal lock to end up in silver and black.
The Raiders have other quarterbacks to choose from, especially if they’re willing to look back to the future. Josh McCown made nine starts for the Raiders in 2007, and went 2-7 while throwing 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his only season with the club.
McCown bounced from the Carolina Panthers to the Chicago Bears, where the backup played standout football for the Chicago Bears in 2013.
Given that the Raiders are looking for a shorter-term solution from a vet quarterback, McCown may be the perfect fit. Or, if he can’t recapture magic from five solid starts, the Raiders could be stuck with an inexperienced quarterback during a season where progress is vital.
Let’s take a closer look at Josh McCown and if he’s the best option:
What Josh has to offer: McCown offers stability in the locker room and a consistent presence as a pocket passer. He showed a solid deep ball last season, and an ability to sling passes around the field. He has solid, yet unspectacular career numbers, with 50 touchdowns, 45 interceptions and a 77.5 passer rating.
Last season, however, he showed some magic. He had 13 TDs and just 1 interception in eight games that included five starts. It will also make him a commodity on the free-agent market.
Why he’s a good fit: McCown has shown stability and accuracy throughout his career. He hasn’t been great until recently, but going with a hot hand might pay dividends. Also, McCown is the definition of stopgap solution and, at 34 years old, would be okay with that. He’d also be fine mentoring younger passers while he starts in the short term. In regards to what the team is looking for – a character guy, a locker-room leader and game manager – McCown might be the perfect fit.
Why Raiders should stay away: Several teams might swoon at McCown’s recent success, but career numbers show it could be a flash in the pan. His 2013 performance, combined with a weak free-agent class, might drive his asking price higher than the Raiders would like to pay. He was quoted as being uncertain about playing in 2014, meaning his heart might not be in it. Also, McCown hasn’t been a full-time starter in years and might not be physically ready for a full 16-game slate, especially if his protection is inadequate.