Raiders Rumor Mill: Trade likely

Some things are certain in life. Trades in the NFL usually aren't among them. But the Oakland Raiders are serious about making a trade and it is getting closer to fruition.

The long rumored deal for current Detroit Lions quarterback Josh McCown is a near reality.

McCown, who signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions prior to the 2006 NFL season, started 22 games for the Arizona Cardinals but did not get a snap in regulation last year.

While the Lions hosted a "voluntary" minicamp, McCown was absent and his agent Michael McCarthey confirmed that he was looking to get McCown out of Detroit.

An NFC executive confirmed the Raiders' interest in McCown and has heard that a deal is imminent.

Also, privy to a conversation between two NFL sources that are familiar with the negotiations, things get even more interesting.

"The guys a starting QB in the league," said one source.

"Well, physically, yes, but he's yet to prove it," noted the other with a laugh.

"He can go to Oakland, be the starter while Jamarcus Russell, if drafted, sits behind him for the year," said the first source. "If he starts, and plays reasonably well, he is then a unrestricted free agent in March of 2008 and could get a nice contract."

Trading for McCown will make things interesting for Oakland.

They can do any number of things with the first pick in the NFL Draft, including taking Calvin Johnson – the best player on the board – or sticking with the original plan of taking Jamarcus Russell and allowing McCown to start for the season while Russell learns the ropes and provides the potential franchise quarterback they currently lack.

Another option that has to be considered is trading down. They are not in the best of positions to trade down now – because they lack a signal caller they have confidence in.

Netting McCown would change that thinking. They could drop down a few slots and take the best quarterback available while getting extra value with additional picks. And if Calvin Johnson somehow fell they would welcome him with open arms.

Given their 2-14 record last season, this option may be the best one. While they are better than last year indicated, there are still a number of holes on the team that must be filled.

McCown can open up the door that allows Oakland to pour cement in the holes and regain some measure of competence.

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