Is Matt Schaub Really an Upgrade on Keith Wenning for the Baltimore Ravens?


Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub (8) is sacked by St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated Oakland 52-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Former Houston Texan and Oakland Raider Matt Schaub has been sitting on his laurels thus far in free agency, but his market appears to be heating up as teams look to add depth at the shallow quarterback position.  Adam Schefter broke the news that Schaub is expecting to sign with a team this week, and his first visit is with the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s no secret that the Ravens are looking to add veteran depth behind starter Joe Flacco after losing former backup Tyrod Taylor to free agency.  Schaub is exactly that, a 12 year vet with two Pro Bowl appearances under his belt and knowledge of former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s scheme.  The Ravens are wisely a little concerned carrying only last year’s 6th round pick, Keith Wenning, behind Joe Flacco.

But would Matt Schaub represent an upgrade on Wenning?  Sure, Joe Flacco has been remarkably durable throughout his career thus far, and losing him to injury would create a problem no matter who is under center.  It’s hard enough to find a decent starting QB these days, let along a decent backup.  Those days in the NFL are long gone.

Oakland thought they could use Schaub as a bridge and mentor to rookie Derek Carr last season, even giving up a sixth round pick to acquire him from the Texans after he face planted in 2013.  But Schaub didn’t even come close to looking like a viable quarterback, even in training camp and the preseason, and he easily lost out to Carr.  He was released in an obvious salary cap dump on March 16th.

So Schaub will likely come cheap and he should be willing to accept a backup role.  Those qualities at least make him a fit for the Ravens.  But will he be a good mentor?  That might be the biggest quality he can bring to the table, especially to help a young Wenning develop into a long term backup.  That may perhaps be the most valuable contribution he can make, because talent wise, it’s doubtful that he gives the Ravens a better chance to win than Wenning does.

What remains to be seen is whether Schaub wants to chase the money and compete for a starting gig or simply sign with a quality organization that gives him a chance to win, even if that means winning while holding a clipboard.  If the latter is what Matt Schaub is looking for, the Ravens would be his best choice.

Next: Ravens Free Agent Losses and Possible Replacements

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