As initially reported by NFL Network
insider Adam Schefter
, "After failing to land Daunte Culpepper
, after declining to bid on Drew Brees
, the Raiders called for their version of their quarterback keeper. ..."
This after the team reached agreement with former Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks on a two-year deal worth about $8 million. There was some speculation that Brooks could visit Green Bay, but he passed up any chances to stay in Oakland.
"Aaron gives us great depth at the quarterback position and provides us with a veteran presence," new head coach Art Shell said.
"Oh, sweet," receiver Alvis Whitted told Associated Press sports writer Janie McCauley in a phone interview. "I'm glad that we do have a new quarterback. I'm sure he'll fit right in with what we're trying to get done here. I'm sure the coaches are excited. From what I've seen of him play, he's done some great things.
He's very athletic, a mobile quarterback and very intelligent, too. He's a great fit for us, and we're happy to have him."
The Raiders brought in Brooks for a visit Monday night; he visited with team officials on Tuesday, and stayed in Oakland Tuesday night when it became apparent the two sides were nearing a deal.
Brooks becomes the immediate favorite to serve as Randy Moss' starting quarterback.
Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo are likely to be back on the bench, Kerry Collins will not be returning to Oakland and the Raiders have added their first significant off-season acquisition.
The Raiders told Brooks he would compete for the starting job but made no promises in advance.
Still, he clearly provides the kind of veteran presence Oakland needs.
In addition to starting 82 games for the Saints (from 2000-2005), Brooks, who turns 30 on Friday, has ability similar to Collins in that he can throw the deep pass. But he has better mobility, with 1,410 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
As a second-year player in 2000, Brooks led the Saints to the only playoff win in franchise history, a 31-28 victory over the St. Louis Rams. He had a 43-43 career record until going 3-10 in 2005, losing his job to Todd Bouman.
Brooks was waived last week when the Saints signed Drew Brees to a free-agent contract.
Brooks managed to latch on to one of the few teams in the league that still had questions as to who would start at quarterback. At this point of free agency, starting jobs did not exactly abound, but Brooks found one.
According to Schefter, Oakland views Brooks as a quarterback that has averaged 25 touchdown passes a year, and a player who can be a star if he learns to limit his mistakes. Other NFL teams view Brooks as a poor man's Culpepper, the quarterback the Raiders initially targeted.
As Schefter summed up: "Somebody's right, and the Raiders are rooting that it's them. ..."
And as Oakland Tribune staffer Jerry McDonald pointed out, the addition of Brooks buys the Raiders some time if they are considering drafting one of the three top quarterbacks in the NFL Draft.
Many believe the team has an eye on Texas signal caller Vince Young.
It's worth noting that Young's pro day workout earlier today drew mixed reviews. Some observers -- including NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock and ESPN's Sean Salisbury were very impressed.
ESPN reporter Ed Werder noted that only five of the 54 passes Young attempted hit the ground -- and two were drops.
Others noted some deficiencies, however.
Young was timed in 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash on what is considered a fast track at the University of Texas, an unnamed NFL scout told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The scout said Young's time was slower than anticipated.
According to the same scout, Young's overall workout was "fairly impressive," but the scout believed that Young was not asked to make certain drops and throws that he would have to perform in a private team workout.
Young's workout, which was open to all NFL teams, was run by Jerry Rhome, a former NFL quarterback and assistant coach.
The Raiders currently hold the seventh pick overall.