Every once in a while we’re reminded how crucial the backup quarterback is. This was a year for the whole league to take notice but for the Oakland Raiders, that reminder came at the end of the 2016 season.
EJ Manuel didn’t have too much exposure but probably wouldn’t inspire confidence if he had to step in for a block of games. Connor Cook doesn’t have a large enough sample size to make a full determination but I wouldn’t want my season falling on his shoulders. With that said let’s take a look at some options for the Raiders to bring in.
Moore has been pretty content to stay in Miami as the backup quarterback bypassing potential opportunities to compete for a starting job elsewhere. Moore has shown to be one of the better backups in the league over his career and is a great three to four-week option if called upon. Moore has also shown that he can be a viable seasonal fill-in going 6-6 as a starter with the Dolphins in 2011.
Fitzpatrick has been a starter in this league for a chunk of his career but he fits much better as a backup. When Fitzpatrick gets hot he can do better than stabilizing the position, he can actually go out and put up big numbers. Fitzpatrick’s flaws have been his wild inconsistency and penchant for throwing killer interceptions. If surrounded by good personnel Fitzpatrick is the kind of guy that can step in for a few games and the offense wouldn’t miss a beat.
Daniel is different from the other two in that he hasn’t had much playing time and probably has not abandoned the idea of being a starter in this league. In that small time, he did flash enough to get a three-year $21 million dollar deal from the Eagles to potentially compete for the starting job. It didn’t quite work out with the Eagles and he was released after a year and went to back up Drew Brees with the Saints last year. Daniel is still in the position of being a somewhat unknown commodity trying to prove himself so you can find a hidden treasure in that package. I think he clearly has the most upside here.
There will be competition for these guys both from their incumbent teams and around the league but whether it’s one of these guys or another veteran or maybe a draft pick, the Raiders need to address the position. Ignore the backup quarterback at your own peril.