I have to admit I didn't even think of Bruce Gradkowski as an option but it does make a little sense. If this scenario that Even Silva has laid out were to happen, he's a mobile, veteran QB that could compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the #2 QB position and more likely would be a very solid 3rd QB. He could manage your offense in a pinch and isn't going to hurt you in the locker room. He's still youngish and has a higher floor than a lot of backup QB options around the league. He certainly fits the profile as to what Seahawks' fans have come to expect from their QBs here as an injury prone bald guy that's specialty is in the 'west coast offense'. In 2010 he started 4 games and threw for 1,059 yards, 5 TDs to 7 interceptions and a rating of 66.3. The Raiders lost all of those games but Gradkowski played well enough to stir up a quarterback controversy in Oakland. Though his numbers look pretty crappy, I remember watching a few of their games and coming off fairly impressed with the guy.
Here's what Silva had to say about Gradkowski:
Scouting Report: He's essentially Jeff Garcia. An undersized scrambler, Gradkowski ran a 4.5-flat at his 2006 Pro Day and has averaged 4.2 yards per rushing attempt in his career. While Gradkowski's arm strength and per-attempt passing stats are thoroughly unimpressive, he has shown the ability to move an offense for short stretches, mostly with improvisation. The 28-year-old has played primarily in West Coast-style offenses. While he's a bottom-barrel No. 2 quarterback, Gradkowski can provide a spark and would probably be one of the better No. 3s in the league.
Availability: The Raiders moved on from Gradkowski after axing his biggest fan, former head coach Tom Cable. Not receiving a tender, Gradkowski could resurface as a backup with Cable in Seattle. Because of his limited arm talent, Gradkowski is a quarterback who must be manipulated by the offense he plays in. A horizontal passing attack would suit his skills best.
Prediction: Seahawks on a one-year, $850,000 contract.
As for Carson Palmer, this scenario is becoming more and more plausible in my mind. While a few people around the league have been adamant that Mike Brown will not budge under any circumstances, I think on a national level more and more analysts are conceding that a trade is possible now, especially after the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton.
As for Palmer's effectiveness, that is another strong debate. Silva paints a picture of an over the hill, injury prone has-been when he says:
Palmer is a different player than the quarterback who came out of USC in 2003. The 31-year-old's mobility has been all but eliminated since a 2006 ACL and MCL tear with meniscus damage, and Palmer's arm strength was adversely affected by ligament and tendon tears in his right (throwing) elbow in 2008. Palmer's passes tend to flutter, especially in the intermediate to deep range. He's had two winning seasons in his career. Palmer's talent is now more that of a top-20 quarterback than top-10, and ideally he would be protected by a top-notch line plus running game. He has four years and $54.5 million left on a contract signed in 2005.
Availability: Depends on who you ask. If it's Bengals owner Mike Brown -- a reliable source -- Palmer isn't going anywhere. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and most league observers believe Palmer will sit out the 2011 season after threatening to retire if his trade demand isn't honored. We'll optimistically project Palmer to get his wish and land with old college coach Pete Carroll. It's probably in Cincinnati's best interest, too, as they could acquire an early- to mid-round pick in exchange.
Prediction: Seahawks via trade.
I'd describe him more as a effective passer with adequate mobility that's been stuck with a terrible franchise for the last eight seasons and has a legitimate chance for a career renaissance in the right situation. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
I've hit on this before but if Palmer is indeed acquired it buys the Seahawks 2-4 years of time to find the QBOTF, develop him, and continue building through the draft to put together a great team. Palmer adds the veteran leadership you'd hope for in the huddle and in the locker room and still has the ability to keep a defense honest by throwing vertically so you'd see less stacking of the box by opposing coordinators. Everyone talks about his diminished arm strength but the fact of the matter is he threw for 3,970 yards and 26 TDs last season on a crappy team. Having a cannon arm is important but it's not everything - look at where Ryan Mallett fell to in the draft so it's obvious teams look for more than just that to lead their offense. If you look at Football Outsiders' statistical analysis, in 2010 he was 10th in DYAR and 18th in DVOA. He was 6th in Effective Yards. Any way you cut the cake on those stats he's around the top half of best starting QBs in the league and in the top 10 in certain categories. If he comes for the asking price that's been rumored (a 5th and a conditional pick) he'd be a steal.
Suddenly the Hawks' outlook wouldn't be so cloudy with a true starting QB in camp backed up by a battle for the #2 spot, and a shiny new run game in the works. Things will get really interesting once free agency starts. My head is going to explode if it doesn't happen soon.