I’ve recently given a lot of thought (from the dark side…?) to what it means that Matt McGloin has continually received more passes than 4th round pick Tyler Wilson in practices.
I think that coaching staff does genuinely like McGloin but I also think that the coaches like Wilson’s long term potential. Wilson may not be exceling immediately but he has the skills to be able to be a starter in the NFL if he can put it all together.
Wilson was considered to be a project when drafted, not an immediate plug-and-play starter, which makes me think it’s unlikely that he would simply be cut after his first training camp.
The snap difference leads me to two different outcomes, one which I think is more likely than the other.
The first scenario is that the Raiders like Matt McGloin more than they do Wilson and they plan on keeping their favorite guy regardless of which was a draft pick and which was not. In this scenario, the Raiders will cut Wilson, keep McGloin as their third QB and simply look to the future.
While this is the most straightforward scenario, I have my doubts that the Raiders are ready to give up on a guy that they liked enough to draft in the fourth round so quickly. I also think the Raiders can keep both if they play their cards right…and so I look to scenario number two.
In the second scenario, the Raiders take a few calculated risks to keep both McGloin and Wilson on the team.
First, I am operating under the assumption that Wilson is more likely to be claimed than McGloin. There isn’t really any evidence for this except that Wilson was a drafted player whereas McGloin was not and Wilson was once considered a possible first round pick whereas McGloin was considered a long-shot to even make it to the NFL.
In order for the Raiders to keep both players, then, they are not able to cut Wilson as he would likely be picked up by another team.
Instead, in this scenario, McGloin is the QB cut, probably later on Saturday when many teams are dealing with their own final cuts and where the Raiders hope that he is lost in the shuffle of good but not great players hitting the market.
When cut, McGloin goes onto the waiver wire where any of the other 31 teams can claim him. Any team that claims him, however, will have to put him on their active roster at that time. With many teams going with only 2 QBs in recent years and almost no teams going with more than 3, it seems unlikely although not impossible that another team will pick up McGloin on waivers to put on their active roster.
If McGloin is not claimed by any of the other teams by the end of the next NFL business day, he becomes a fully free agent, able to sign with any team that he likes to either the active roster or the practice squad as he chooses.
It is with this in mind that I think the Raiders have really talked up McGloin both in private and to the media. Because he gets to choose which team with which he signs, the Raiders have made him feel wanted and needed in order to choose to come back to them, on the practice squad.
There, he’ll be able to learn the position and serve as the scout team quarterback. Plus, he knows that he’s one injury away from being moved up onto the team, under a coach that likes him and his skill-set and teammates with whom he’s familiar.
In this way, the Raiders are able to keep both McGloin and Wilson without having to spend an active roster spot on both. If they like McGloin better than Wilson, they may be risking losing a guy that they like, but if they succeed, they can keep both of their guys longer-term, something that can only benefit the Raiders down the road as they can see which is the better player after both have had time to learn.