Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Raiders' QB plan is taking shape
By Bill Williamson
I wanted to dig deeper into Oakland’s decision to give Kyle Boller a one-year deal.
Boller is reportedly going to be paid $1.25 million for this season. I think it is clear the team plans for Boller to be the backup quarterback, or at least the primary veteran behind starter Jason Campbell. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oakland drafts a quarterback to be either the backup or No. 3 as a rookie.
It’s starting to be clear that Boller has a better chance to stick around Oakland than Bruce Gradkowski or Charlie Frye. Gradkowski was not given a contract tender, making him an unrestricted free agent. Frye is also unrestricted. By giving Boller the one-year deal, it shows that Oakland made him the priority, at least for now, over the other backup quarterbacks.
Sure, Gradkowski and Frye could be re-signed, and they could all go to camp and compete like last year. But I know new Oakland head coach Hue Jackson likes Boller, and he was instrumental in bringing him to the Raiders. Boller played under Jackson in Baltimore in 2008.
I think Oakland likes the idea of having Boller back up Campbell. First, Boller has experience if he needs to play. He has started 46 games since being the Ravens’ No. 1 pick in 2003. He played sparingly in Oakland in 2010. This is also important: Boller won’t be looked to as a threat to Campbell.
Campbell performed better last season after Gradkowski was lost for the season with an injury. It seemed like Campbell was tight when Gradkowski, who replaced Campbell on a few occasions, was waiting in the wings. Oakland owner Al Davis and Jackson have both said this offseason they truly believe Campbell is the right man for the job. Thus, a Campbell-Boller pairing appears to be in the works.