My fellow BoltHeads, a new (starting) quarterback entered the AFC West.
The Oakland Raiders have 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 that will send Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals. The teams swap their sixth and seventh round picks this year (i.e. the Raiders move up 43 spots) and a conditional seventh round pick in 2014 if Carson Palmer will play at least 13 games next season.
Let´s talk about the Flynn trade first.
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 already been outplayed by the third round pick and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson 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 one game last season for the Raiders. He showed great mobility and thus would be an attractive option for the team in the new zone read offenses of the NFL. But they haven’t yet decided which way they’re leaning and will host an open competition for the quarterback position this off-season. The former Packer is favorite to win the starting job, but 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 there is some skepticism about his future and ability as signal-caller in Oakland. So again – the odds are in Flynn´s favor.
Maybe the hotter story that came out of the Blackhole is that Carson Palmer got traded to the Arizona Cardinals.
This means he lands with the team which would either select a quarterback or a left tackle in the first round of the upcoming draft. I guess with that move, the Cards made it clear that they believe in Lane Johnson´s skills to become one of the league´s best left tackles. Or they´re just not interested in wasting their first round pick on a quarterback (Geno Smith) who probably isn´t worth being picked that high. Either way, it means Lane Johnson will be gone at No. 11 when the San Diego Chargers make their first selection in the 2013 NFL draft.
But actually I don´t get the whole deal. Rather than taking a paycut in Oakland, Carson Palmer wanted to get out of the Blackhole and play as backup for a Super Bowl contender, i.e. the San Francisco 49ers (they acquired Colt McCoy from the Cleveland Browns already on Monday). There also had been reports that he´d prefer to get in competition with Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay than take over the starting role for the Cardinals in what is probably the best NFL division in 2013, the NFC West. But whatever, he now is a Cardinal.
According to multiple reports, Palmer gets $20 million over two years in Arizona, as opposed to the $13 million per season he was set to get from the Raiders. So in comparison to his former contract with the Silver and Black, he is taking a paycut. But when considering his mediocrity as signal-caller, this still is quite a significant amount of money. On Monday, the Cards released John Skelton, who was drafted under a previous regime.
But none of that should bother us BoltHeads. The one thing that will put us in trouble is the fact that, thanks to this trade, Lane Johnson very likely won´t be available for our General Manager in the first round of the draft. The Raiders seemingly can´t beat us in the regular season, so it seems they try to trip us up by making off-season moves like this. Nice try, Raiders! But the last word hasn´t been spoken!
Before I end this piece, I want to share the following pretty interesting (and funny) information with you: Matt Flynn will be the Raiders´ 22nd (!!) quarterback to start a game since 1995! Great job Oakland – keep up the good work! …LOL!
Thank you for reading my articles.