ALAMEDA -- It isn't Terrelle Pryor, it's looking as if it won't be Matt McGloin, and it sure wasn't Carson Palmer, Matt Flynn or Tyler Wilson.
It hasn't been so much about tangible progress, of course -- for the Raiders and their search for a stable starting quarterback, this all has been a process of elimination.
Not him, or him, or him, or him ...
But eventually the Raiders need a winning quarterback, and here's the big question and gut call for owner Mark Davis: Are general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen the two guys you want picking a quarterback in the coming offseason?
Of the many problems surrounding this spiraling 4-10 team, finding the next quarterback is by far the thorniest and most important to fix.
Allen, by the way, was a defensive assistant in New Orleans when the Saints signed Drew Brees as a free agent in 2006.
When I asked Allen about that experience Monday, he immediately joked: "I'd love to have Drew Brees."
Or the next Drew Brees, if that's possible.
It's mandatory, really. The Raiders haven't had a good and enduring quarterback since Rich Gannon, and not coincidentally they haven't had a winning season since his best days.
Last week in a conversation with Davis, I mentioned the swing and miss for Flynn and the ups and downs with the other quarterbacks this season and asked if he was confident in McKenzie's ability to judge the position.
"All I'll say is that, yes, the quarterback is very, very important," Davis said. "I'll agree on that part. I'm not going to say anything else right now."
Here's what we know:
I can't explain exactly why Allen has yo-yoed Pryor in at odd times the past few weeks, but it's probably another sign of the staff's confusion with what to do with him.
On Monday, Allen pointed out that in his five starts, McGloin has completed 15 passes for 25 yards or more, the highest total in the NFL over that period.
But a day such as Sunday seems to point McGloin to a role as a strong backup on a good team, not a starter, and that means the Raiders' search goes on.
The guys in this group, though, seem to be better fits for more established teams and not as the key part to the "reconstruction of the Raiders" that Davis described last week.
That would be prime position to take a potential franchise quarterback if they fall in love with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State's Derek Carr or Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel ... and if the guy they love is there for their slot.
But judging from McKenzie and Allen's track record -- and Allen's Brees model of leadership and hard work -- I'm not sure Manziel fits this program.
Could Alabama's AJ McCarron or UCLA's Brett Hundley be team leaders for the Raiders to build around?
I think if the Raiders keep McGloin, add a lower-scale veteran such as Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert and draft McCarron or Hundley, they might have the makings of a very solid quarterback group.
But again, the question: Do you want McKenzie and Allen to be the ones making the calls?
"Sometimes things don't work out; sometimes mistakes are made," Allen said of McKenzie's record with quarterbacks.
"Listen, I'm confident in Reggie McKenzie and the personnel staff in being able to evaluate football players, quarterbacks, offensive linemen, defensive linemen. I'm very confident in his ability to do that. I'm very confident in our ability as a coaching staff to be able to do that."
Mostly, Allen and McKenzie need a plan, and they need to convince Davis that they can implement it this offseason.
Oh, and they need to figure out how to get the next Drew Brees, and save their franchise and their jobs along the way.