The seasons go by slowly and painfully when you don't have a real quarterback and yes, it has been an 11-year slog since Rich Gannon wore the Silver & Black.

Since then? No true long-term QB and no authentic hope for the Raiders to be any good for any length of time.

Yes, Carson Palmer and Jason Campbell weren't terrible when they started games for the Raiders the last few years.

But neither was the full answer at the position and both proved it by not making the playoffs or sticking around here for very long.

So, even though the NFL movement period has not started off wonderfully for the Raiders, general manager Reggie McKenzie can still rally up some momentum if he can just find a QB.

In this Sept. 15, 2013 file photo, Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the
In this Sept. 15, 2013 file photo, Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (Matt Rourke)

Or, let me suggest, the Raiders can find strength in numbers by wisely collecting three QBs and then use the 2014 season to figure out which one is worth keeping.

The suggestion: Sign one, draft one and keep one. And then hope.

If the Raiders get to January 2015 with a lot of losses but with a real QB in hand, that alone will come close to justifying a lot of things.

(This all presumes that McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen know how to pick the candidates and that they have a strong enough foundation for the right one to bloom.)

OK, here's my step-by-step process ...

In free agency ...

Sign either Michael Vick, Shaun Hill or Josh Freeman.

Vick and Hill are only stop-gap options and Freeman probably isn't a great long-term option, either. But the Raiders need something stable at QB and these might be the best candidates to fit with offensive coordinator Greg Olson's system.

Any one of these three could give the Raiders just enough consistency and leadership to provide a reasonable bridge to the next guy.

I eliminated Matt Schaub, who could be released by Houston any day now, because I just don't think he should stand behind a questionable offensive line ever again.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr throws a pass during second quarter action of their game with the California Bears at Candlestick Park in San
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr throws a pass during second quarter action of their game with the California Bears at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, Sept 3, 2011. Carr is the brother of NFL quarterback David Carr. The California Bears beat Fresno State 36-21. (John Green/Staff) ( JOHN GREEN )

And I eliminated Mark Sanchez, who could be released by the New York Jets soon, and Brandon Weeden, who was released Cleveland on Wednesday ... because they're Mark Sanchez and Brandon Weeden.

In the draft ...

Take Fresno State's Derek Carr, but not with the No. 5 overall pick. If they can't get Carr, take Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo or Alabama's A.J. McCarron in later rounds.

I can see how McKenzie and Allen might lean to Carr. They like leadership guys who can grasp the full dimension of an NFL offense, and Carr seems to fit those categories.

Back in 2012, when I asked Allen to name a player with the attributes he most admires and would want to build around, he said Drew Brees.

That would not seem to be a profile that precisely fits Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel or Central Florida's Blake Bortles or possibly even Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.

But the problem is that Carr probably isn't worth the fifth overall pick.

To get the value of the pick, the Raiders should take a great defensive playmaker (Buffalo's Khalil Mack?) or tackle (Texas A&M's Jake Matthews?) or move down into the low-20s to take Carr and pick up extra draft choices.

The Raiders might get Carr if they wait until their second-round pick, but they might not want to risk that.

I'd add that Garoppolo isn't a terrible alternate-option in the second round; as Option 3, McCarron could project to be a serviceable starter in the NFL at some point.

Bring back ...

Matt McGloin.

McGloin isn't a long-term guarantee in any way, but he does a lot of things that Allen and Olson like and proved he can win a game or two in the NFL last year.

McGloin is a guy the Raiders want to have in that QB room and on the roster in case the starter gets hurt.

And at this point, the Raiders should just let Terrelle Pryor get another chance elsewhere, because it's probably not going to happen in Oakland.

The end result: This scenario would leave the Raiders potentially with Carr or Garoppolo as the young, developing guy, Vick/Hill/Freeman as the veteran place-holder with some talent, and McGloin as young depth.

There might not be a top-tier long-range QB in that group, but the Raiders would possess three honest chances to get one.

That's strength in numbers and it's better than what the Raiders have trotted out there for so many hopeless, listless, QB-deprived years.

Get a quarterback, give yourself a chance.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.

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The Raiders should draft quarterback Derek Carr but not with the fifth overall pick.