Dec 22, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) on the sidelines in the second half. The Panthers defeated the Raiders 17-6 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Inspired by multiple reports over the last few days about the quarterback situation in Oakland, I thought it could be interesting to take a brief look at the new field general of the Silver and Black in 2013.
The Oakland Raiders acquired quarterback Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in the 2015 draft. In addition to that, they finalized a deal, which sent Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals. The teams swapped their sixth and seventh round picks this year (i.e. the Raiders moved up 43 spots); Oakland will also receive a conditional seventh round pick in 2014 if Carson Palmer will play at least 13 games next season.
Besides Flynn, the Raiders got Terrelle Pryor, the teams´ third round pick in 2011, and this year´s fourth round pick Tyler Wilson as well as undrafted free agent Matthew McGloin on the roster. But as head coach Dennis Allen mentioned earlier this week that Pryor “is not there yet”, Flynn was named the starting quarterback for the upcoming season.
But what kind of player do they get with the soon-to-be 28-year old veteran?
Matt Flynn was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft. He backed up Aaron Rodgers for four seasons and signed a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Seahawks last off-season. But we all know what happened. He has been outplayed by the third round pick and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson already in training camp, which means Flynn got benched in favor of Wilson right from the start.
With all that in mind, I guess it´s fair to question if Matt Flynn is an upgrade over Carson Palmer or if he´s even a legit starting quarterback at all. Well, as he only started two games in his NFL career, we haven´t seen much of him yet. With starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the bench due to a concussion he sustained a week earlier, Flynn stepped in for the Packers´ field general against the New England Patriots in 2010 and nearly beat Tom Brady. He threw for three touchdowns including one big-play gunslinger-type of pass. Now it´s his time to prove that he can do such things on a regular basis.
But also, with the departure of Carson Palmer, Oakland already has a signal-caller waiting to get out there and start games for the Silver and Black. The 2011 third round draft pick Terrelle Pryor started his only game last season against our San Diego Chargers, filling in for the injured No. 1 QB. He showed great mobility and thus would be an attractive option for the team in the new zone read offenses of the NFL. However, this performance obviously hasn´t been enough to convince coach Dennis Allen that he is ready for the big stage. Allen said “there’s been no lack of effort on his part…but he’s still young in the position and there’s still a lot of improvement he needs to make.”
So, the former Packer won the starting job – for now; because after all it´s not that unlikely he could again fall victim to a more athletic and mobile quarterback, just like he did in Seattle. But it´s fair to mention that Russell Wilson is a better passer than Pryor and besides “being still young in the position”, there is some skepticism about his future and ability as signal-caller in Oakland. Tyler Wilson will take on his part in the quarterback competition, but I don´t think he´ll be given a big role in his first year in the National Football League. So again – it´s “Flynn time” in Oakland (at least for the first few games).
Before I end this piece, I want to share the following pretty “interesting” information with you: Matt Flynn will be the Raiders´ 22nd (!!) quarterback to start a game since 1995! I´ll leave you with that…lol.
Thank you for checking out this piece and feel free to share your thoughts about the new signal-caller of the Silver and Black.