The Oakland Raiders are coming into 2014 with a number of questions on their roster and the biggest one is at quarterback, as free agents like Matt Cassel or Michael Vick could be options for Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie over last year's starter Matt McGloin as well as potential draft picks in Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater.
The Raiders come into the draft with the number five pick after going 4-12 for the second straight season and after their failures last year trading for Matt Flynn, picking Tyler Wilson and playing both Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, the future could rest on the shoulders of someone brand new. Allen said as much earlier in the offseason when news came out that he was keeping his job and he commented that the future quarterback of the team may not even be on the roster yet.
Michael Vick and Josh Freeman have been mentioned as potential options for the team, while ESPN.com reports that Matt Cassel could get into the mix after getting out of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings. The ESPN report says that Cassel has not ruled out a return to the Vikings, but after playing well last season and starting six games, he is looking to get paid more like a starter and he could explore other situations where he could compete for the number one job.
Last season Cassel stepped in for Christian Ponder and was solid while passing for over 1,800 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games played and he opted out with a player option for 2014, for which he was set to make $3.7 million. Cassel could still get paid more and end up as a backup, as the Philadelphia Eagles are looking for someone to snag with Mike Vick becoming a free agent and Kelly had praised Cassel in the past and could slot him behind Nick Foles after he emerged as the starter last season. Vick likely will move on as a free agent and at 34 he has some left in the tank and he could take his talents to Oakland, where they could draft and develop a QB while putting in Vick for the next year or two.
The team has a high draft pick and many speculate that they could draft Manziel or Bridgewater or even Blake Bortles, but the team also runs the risk of not getting anyone, as the Houston Texans, Jaguars and Cleveland Browns all need quarterbacks as well. Cassel had his best game against the Eagles, passing for nearly 400 yards and now he could be poised to get another starting job after doing it with the Chiefs and the Vikings and teams like the Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Jaguars and Cleveland Browns could be interested in his services.
The Texans could be an option with Bill O'Brien coming in, as he previously worked with Cassel, but many expect the team to draft a top quarterback with the number one pick in the draft. The Raiders got some flashes of solid play from both Pryor and McGloin last season, but it looks like neither of those players will be in the mix to start next season.