If Jon Gruden is looking for his latest reclamation project, he couldn’t have picked a better candidate than former Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman.
Peterman reportedly signed with Oakland on Wednesday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Former Bills' QB Nathan Peterman is signing with the Oakland Raiders, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 19, 2018
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport notes that Peterman will be on the practice squad.
The #Raiders have signed QB Nathan Peterman to the practice squad, source said, not the 53-man roster. Jon Gruden has said in the past he loves him and now he gets him (updating an earlier tweet).— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 19, 2018
But Peterman is no ordinary backup quarterback.
The Bills' fifth-round draft pick in 2017 has become a laughingstock among NFL fans for his cringe-worthy stats: three touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 32.5 in eight games (four starts). He was cut by the Bills on Nov. 12 and has been a free agent ever since.
However, if there’s someone out there who still believes in Peterman’s potential, it might just be Gruden.
In 2017, the Raiders coach, who was working for ESPN at the time, wrote about Peterman before the NFL draft. Despite Peterman being in a draft class with current star quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, Gruden heaped praise on him, calling him “the most pro-ready QB.”
"Peterman is ready to walk in and be a contributor from day one," Gruden wrote on ESPN.com before the 2017 NFL Draft. "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."
Gruden also complimented Peterman’s leadership skills and expressed confidence that the University of Pittsburgh product would take command of the huddle.
"Most importantly, he will be able to get in a huddle from day one and look at 10 grown men and tell them where to go and what to do and handle a versatile snap count," Gruden wrote.
While many Raiders fans probably saw the news and winced, Gruden clearly feels the embattled QB is worth a longer look.
Here’s to hoping Gruden’s right.