The Oakland Raiders are reportedly talking to the Philadelphia Eagles about acquiring veteran quarteback Donovan McNabb. This is a move that would provide an instant upgrade to the Raiders offense, as well as have long term benefits.
The struggles the Raiders had in 2009 at the quarterback position were the stuff of legend. JaMarcus Russell was beyond dismal. His replacement Bruce Gradkowski played well and improved the offense, but was injured after only four games. Charlie Frye started three games, finished one of them, and only had one touchdown pass against four interceptions.
Donovan McNabb is a veteran presence who would bring a credibility that has not been seen at the quarterback position since Rich Gannon. Under McNabb the Eagles have reached the playoffs nearly every season. His big knock has been his inability to win the big one, but when compared to a quarterback who has an inability to win the one being played (Russell), it is a clear improvement.
McNabb also could be a stabilizing piece for Russell. McNabb spoke to Russell prior to the Raiders game against the Eagles and the young quarterback had his best game of the season. Russell has a clear admiration for McNabb and would listen to advice from the veteran.
The fan support for the Raiders has been weak over the past season, and the frustration has been building. Acquiring McNabb would be a credibility boost to a team in desperate need of one. A star quality quarterback is something that can get the fans excited and would potentially break the malaise that has set in over the seven years of losing.