If one of three things goes awry, the Oakland Raiders will be in the market for a new quarterback.
The pickings could be slim.
1) If Kerry Collins is to remain the Raiders' starter, he has to truly want to stay. He said after a season-ending loss to the New York Giants that was the case, but hasn't been heard from since.
2) For Collins to get his third season, the Raiders have to want him. Both owner Al Davis and coach Art Shell gave Collins to what amounted as a pass in postseason press conferences, citing poor pass protection and the lack of a running game.
3) And finally, both sides would have to agree on restructuring a contract with a cap figure of $12.8 million -- a necessity considering the Raiders were going into the extended cap deadline nearly $15 million over, although there could be more room of a collective bargaining agreement were to be reached.
For a moment, assume either Collins wants out, the Raiders want him out or the two sides can't work out a deal.
The one-game tryout which ended with two interceptions and two lost fumble in a 26-10 loss to the New York Jets was probably the end for Marques Tuiasosopo in hopes of ever being the Oakland starter.
He has one more year on his contract, and at $477,000 is a bargain as a backup.
Second-year man Andrew Walter hasn't taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game and it would be a reach to consider him ready to play in 2006.
Free agency offers limited possibilities. San Diego quarterback Drew Brees is the one player likely to break the bank and doesn't fit the down field mode the Raiders want to get Randy Moss back on track.
Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf said the club plans to pay a $6 million bonus and retain the services of Daunte Culpepper, and Tennessee plans to keep Steve McNair around another year.
If Culpepper is indeed off limits, the Raiders are looking at the likes of Cincinnati quarterback Jon Kitna, New Orleans' Aaron Brooks, Washington's Tom Ramsey or possibly soon-to-be released Tampa Bay quarterback Brian Griese.
Kitna, who has decent credentials as a starter in Seattle and Cincinnati, could conceivably be the best short-term option while the Raiders determine if Walter is the long-term answer.
As much as the Bengals would like him back, Kitna, 33, wants another chance at being a starter.
"Everybody would like to make more money, but for me it's more about finding a job," Kitna told Bengals.com.
In 2003, the year before Cincinnati handed the reigns to Carson Palmer, Kitna completed 62.6 (324-for-520) of his passes for 3,591 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Kitna's 87.4 passer rating that season is better than Collins' career best of 85.4. The 26 touchdown passes surpasses Collins' standard of 22. And while Kitna does not have the pure arm strength Collins does, he had 11 completions of 40 yards or more in 2003 while Collins has never had more than eight in a season.
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