After a couple of moves made by teams in front of them, the allure of a quarterback might take a back seat to another position.
It's been a busy week in Houston and Oakland. Both teams have been linked to taking quarterbacks in the first round of the draft – Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater being connected to interest from the Texans with the No. 1 overall pick and the Raiders being tied into significant interest in Johnny Manziel.
Both of those situations may now be in a state of change. In Houston, Schaub had been the starter, while never viewed as elite. He was a quarterback who led the team to the playoffs and had them as a preseason favorite to make a playoff run in 2013 after being the AFC's top seed in 2012. The epic collapse last season – Houston started the season 2-0 and didn't win another game all year – was laid squarely on the shoulders of Schaub, who threw an interception for a touchdown in four straight games before being yanked from the lineup. Houston had backups T.J. Yates and Case Keenum – both of whom have earned experience as starters.
When the Texans signed recently released Tennessee/Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two-year, $7.5 million contract, it sent a message that new coach Bill O'Brien wanted a veteran QB with a pedigree in hopes of replicating what Kansas City did last year with Alex Smith. Houston wants to be the third straight team to draft first and make the playoffs later that same year, joining the Chiefs and Colts.
While signing Fitzpatrick doesn't solve the Texans QB issues, it makes it more likely that the team could pass on a quarterback early and have Fitzpatrick mentor a second- or third-round pick. Jadeveon Clowney is a player of interest to them since the team has lost three of its top four defensive linemen in free agency and J.J. Watt can't do it by himself.
Meanwhile, Oakland, which already has a young scrambling-style quarterback in Terrelle Pryor, got Schaub, who head coach Dennis Allen said could be their QB for three or four years. Whether he's just blowing smoke – NFL types do that always, but especially this time of year – or not, a case could be made that the young QB Allen and the Raiders want to groom is Pryor, not Manziel.
While the trade between the Texans and Raiders may not take either of them out of the market for a QB in the first five picks of the draft, it would appear that it has opened the door to that possibility.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.