After this preseason, most Las Vegas Raiders fans probably saw enough of the “Peter Man.” However, there is actually some value in keeping him on the roster.
The case for three quarterbacks…
Let’s first address the question of whether or not it makes sense to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. This really comes down to Marcus Mariota’s availability. He has a history of not being able to stay healthy. Plus, there’s a lot of speculation that the Raiders have a package for him this year, so he could see some action in games without Derek Carr getting injured. That puts him even more at risk.
It’s easy to see a situation where Mariota gets hurt trying to run for a touchdown on a red-zone play early in the game, and then Carr takes a big hit later on and gets knocked out of the game. Keeping a third quarterback makes this situation less disastrous. The Saints did this last year with Jameis Winston. Taysom Hill was the backup to Drew Brees, but he also played a lot, increasing risk for injury. The Raiders should follow this model to avoid a catastrophic situation where they are stuck lining up Josh Jacobs or Kenyan Drake in the wildcat for the majority of a game.
But why Peterman?
This is a fair question. Peterman is not good. He is best known for his disastrous five-interception half when he was in Buffalo. The former Bill had a chance to shine in the preseason and he did not. However, he at least displayed the bare minimum competence that one expects out of a third-string quarterback. Nevertheless, there are better quarterbacks out out there. Obviously Cam Newton is available, but probably not interested in the job. There are also guys like Blake Bortles, Matt Moore, or maybe even Colin Kaepernick. Some of those guys might be more expensive, and they also would have to learn the offense. At the end of the day, Peterman is cheap and already knows the offense.
A waste of a roster spot?
Some might say that Peterman is hogging up a valuable roster spot that could have gone to someone else. Let’s take a look at some of those alternatives. Maybe they should have kept a ninth offensive lineman like Patrick Omameh. That way, if four offensive linemen got hurt in one game, he could come in and give up five sacks! Or how bout they keep a fifth safety like Dallin Leavitt? He can cover kicks, and, in a pinch, he can get torched in coverage for a couple of touchdowns. You know what would really make sense? The Raiders should roster a fourth running back behind three others with a combined cap hit of just under $10 million. That way, every other game he can vulture a touch or two away from them.
Is keeping Peterman the best use of a roster spot? Probably not. He is nobody’s first choice. However, he’s not the worst choice. Peterman provides an extra later of security (albeit, a thin one) at the game’s most important position. I think the most important reason to keep Peterman is that it gives Gruden more freedom to get creative with Mariota. Even if you hate Peterman, I think we can all agree that having the Mariota option in the red zone could have a ton of value.
*Top Photo: AP Photos/D. Ross Cameron