Don't Cast Away Schaub Just Yet
remember that movie Cast Away where Tom Hanks survives
a plane crash, finds a friend in the form of a volleyball, and grows
a really sweet beard? Well my favorite part of that entire 143 minutes
comes at the point when Hanks, after four years of painfully staring
at a pocket watch photo of his plain-faced movie fiancée
Helen Hunt, comes ashore only to find that his grisly beacon of
hope has married the guy who played “Big” in Sex
and the City.
it comes to pass that in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, Texans
fans have been long staring at quarterback Matt Schaub, romantically
hoping that he might be the light at the end of our expansion tunnel,
that he might be the mirage that finally becomes our miraculous.
games into his second season in Houston though and Schaub has better
resembled Ms. Hunt under center than any legitimate starting NFL
quarterback. With a game in the bag, he is tied for the league lead
in interceptions thrown, and with a 50.3 quarterback rating he has
squandered more scoring opportunities than Clay Aiken in a Nevada
for a moment the draft day compensation the Texans relinquished
to acquire his services and instead focus only on what the team
is paying for this kind of limp performance. Just in the second
year of his contract, Schaub’s 2008 base salary is $4.95 million,
the highest base salary of any player on the roster. Next year it
jumps even higher, by another $2 million.
if that weren’t daunting enough, the Texans have a decision
looming on a $10 million option to extend Schaub’s contract
another three years after the 2009 season.
it sounds a tad familiar, it should. The Texans had a somewhat similar
decision to make on David Carr’s contract a few months before
the 2006 draft, choosing to award their first starting quarterback
with a three-year, $8 million option.
about awkward. I think we all know how that turned out.
the Texans would like to make a decision on Schaub’s option
before closing the books next year so as to prorate the option bonus
across the final four years of the deal, not just the last three.
what it also means is that if the team remains comfortable paying
Schaub almost $7 million next year, then they’ll have ample
time to assess his future with the team as long as they remain willing
to ride out the bumps along the way.
have been a big Schaub supporter from the beginning and will continue
to be one in spite of his early performance this season. Our northern
campus in Denver would agree. They tell us that it has taken their
quarterbacks three years to really get this offensive system, and
I think they might be right.
year is Jay Cutler’s third year in the league, and he has
been having a phenomenal start to the season. After a middling season
last year, he’s averaging more than 300 yards per game with
a 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a QB rating of 110.6.
Jake Plummer needed three years in Denver to acquaint himself to
the offense. He threw a league-high 20 interceptions in his second
year as a Bronco only to quarterback them all the way to the conference
championship the following year.
keep going one further. Brian Griese also improved in his third
year in Denver, tossing just four picks after 14 the year previous,
helping the Broncos vault from a six-win team in 1999 to 11 wins
and a wild card berth in 2000.
there is reason to be concerned with Schaub. He has much to improve
upon - such as his poise in the redzone - but I still have his picture
in my pocket watch. At least until next year.
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