Former Pitt quarterback and current NFL free agent Nathan Peterman has had a tumultuous professional career to say the least. Less than two years removed from a solid collegiate career that culminated with a two-season stint at Pitt, the quarterback has devolved into a punchline due to his penchant for throwing picks. However, his turnovers have not scared off everyone, as Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is reportedly interested in him.
Buffalo Bills reporter Ryan Talbot of NYup.com reported on Tuesday that Peterman is “drawing a lot of interest from teams,” adding that “Gruden is very high” on the quarterback.
Nathan Peterman is drawing a lot of interest from teams. Per source, his next stop is with the #Raiders. Jon Gruden is very high on the former #Bills QB. Wouldn’t be surprised if he landed on the team’s PS.— Ryan Talbot (@RyanTalbotBills) December 19, 2018
While this is good news for Peterman in the short term, it’s unlikely to be met with optimism among fans of the Raiders organization, as his name alone carries negative connotations at this point. It’s also another odd bit of front office news in a season that has been full of it for the Raiders, as Gruden shipped off star players Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
The unorthodox moves stem from Gruden’s desire to rebuild the Raiders, and Peterman, believe it or not, is exactly the kind of player the coach is looking for during the process. He said as much while evaluating Peterman for ESPN prior to the 2017 NFL draft.
“Peterman is ready to walk in and be a contributor from day one,” Gruden said. “He just looks like a pro quarterback — coming out of the huddle, running an offense with different formations, shifting, motioning, different patterns that other colleges don’t run. Peterman will recognize route combinations and associate formations.”
With that said, if Peterman ends up with the Raiders, he will be behind Derek Carr, a three-time Pro Bowler who is signed to a five-year, $125 million contract. Gruden has also praised Carr and credited him with carrying the team, which means Peterman is unlikely to rise up the depth chart. However, the Raiders have the ability to part with Carr after 2018, according to Spotrac, and given Gruden’s tendency to shake things up, it seems no player is off limits.
Even if a deal with the Raiders falls through, Peterman apparently has other suitors despite his career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 3-12. It’s unclear what will come of this interest in the quarterback, but it’s possible Peterman hasn’t seen his last action in the NFL.