And forget about the cap hell that everyone always talks about in Oakland. Year after year, they continually find the capitol to go after the premiere player and Drew Brees, injury aside, has proven to be quite effective over the last two years.
In 2004, Brees led the Chargers to a 12-4 season on the strength of a 27-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. This past year he was a Pro Bowl alternate. But a torn labrum, the same injury Gannon suffered at age 38, has made negotiations on a new contract hit a standstill.
"We have a value on a player and they have a value and we are just not agreeing to terms," San Diego general manager A.J. Smith told reporters. "We had a proposal that has been rejected. We are pretty firm in what we believe."
The Raiders have targeted players with something to prove over the last few years with mixed results. Sometimes it is an aging veteran that everyone else is certain has hit the end of the road. Sometimes it is a player perceived to have a negative attitude. Those players, however, are out to prove they are still among the best at their respective position and often play with unmatched passion.
Enter Brees who has been with the Chargers for six years. In the past he has talked about loyalty and wanting a long-term deal. If the Chargers allow him to walk, the Raiders would be an ideal fit.
Brees, a natural competitor, would get a chance to "throw" it in their face twice a year and prove his health. He has always had that fiery demeanor. When someone gives up on you because they have "concerns" it sparks a fire that won't be satiated until he gets on the field and proves his worth again.
Brees threw for 3,576 yards last season, the sixth-highest total in franchise history. He also tossed 24 touchdown passes (with 15 interceptions) while completing 64.6 percent of his passes – the third-highest completion percentage in Chargers history.
Would the Raiders be open to bringing in Brees with Kerry Collins in the fold? They have to be. Maybe Brees isn't ready to take over the reigns when the season begins but a healthy Brees could provide stability at the position for a number of years down the road. He is also a leader that commands respect and backs up his talk with performance on the field. Traits Collins has yet to display.
When your team is 9-23 over the last two years, the head coach gets the ax but the quarterback can't be too far behind. Brees would be a welcome addition to Raider Nation and would revel in the fact that he gets to face San Diego twice each year. Gannon was the blueprint after leaving Kansas City for Oakland. Brees can follow in his footsteps.