General manager Reggie McKenzie said Wednesday he has a "really good idea" who will start at quarterback, suggesting that player has been targeted but not yet acquired.
"The bottom line still is the guy's got to come in and compete, show the team, his teammates, the staff, that he can do it," McKenzie explained in a wide-ranging interview with Jerry McDonald of Bay Area News Group. "There's always going to be competition. I hope it's strong competition. But at the end of the day, I have a good idea."
McKenzie predictably failed to reveal whether that quarterback would arrive via trade, free agency or the 2014 NFL Draft.
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer have reported the team's interest in Matt Schaub and -- to a lesser extent -- Josh Freeman. The Raiders also have been connected to Mark Sanchez and Michael Vick.
Here's what else we learned from McKenzie's interview:
» We criticized the Raiders for allowing Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston -- their best young offensive and defensive players, respectively -- to hit the open market. McKenzie had no interest in retaining them via the franchise tag for just one more season.
"I didn't want to rent them for a year," McKenzie said. "That's not the way we do it. The key is if the players want to be here. If they don't want to be here, we have to move on."
» We also have come down hard on McKenzie for bypassing talented young players to sign veterans in the decline phase such as Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley. The roster unquestionably is more competitive, but it remains a poorly constructed one. The Raiders are one of the few organizations in the NFL without a single difference-making talent in his prime. McKenzie explained the reasoning behind his free agency approach.
"What we're trying to do is add some veteran leadership, guys who have some production, and just make sure we upgrade this team," McKenzie explained. " ... We've got some young guys on this team and we want to try and get that good mix, try to build. Hopefully building up front will help."