The Seahawks and Raiders have in fact agreed to draft-pick compensation on a tentative trade to send Matt Flynn to Oakland. Deal’s close.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 29, 2013
So it appears the Matt Flynn era (can we call it an ‘era’?) is coming to a close. Various reports (see above) have a deal with Oakland in the works. It all rests on Carson Palmer now. He is scheduled to take up $15m against the cap this year. Cutting him will save $6m. Inheriting Flynn’s contract via trade will cost the Raiders $5.25m. So it makes sense that they’d try one last time to get Palmer to negotiate before making a move. If he refuses, they have little option but to cut him.
The Raiders can’t carry Palmer — who has zero shot to succeed on that team — at $15m. Trading for Flynn gives them a veteran stop-gap for two years while they rebuild. Unfortunately for Flynn, he couldn’t be walking into a worse situation. Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III would struggle to lift this ailing franchise.
Compensation remains unknown, although don’t get your hopes up. If the trade is completed, it won’t be a blockbuster. Oakland went into the 2012 draft with no picks in the first four rounds. They were given compensatory picks in round three and four, otherwise new GM Reggie McKenzie would’ve been waiting until round five to start a titanic rebuild. He’s already without a second rounder this year as part of the Palmer trade, so he’s not going to be giving up more high picks.
I suspect the most likely scenario is a late rounder as we saw with Tarvaris Jackson last year, a conditional pick in 2014 based on performance or a flipping of picks. For example — Seattle and Oakland swap fourth rounders.
This was an interesting piece by Yahoo’s Jason Cole, which perhaps explains why demand for Flynn’s services has been lukewarm since he left Green Bay. Cole: “McKenzie (Oakland GM), a former Packers executive, knows Flynn well from his days as a backup in Green Bay. However, the scouting report among former Packers executives is that Flynn’s lack of arm strength will eventually be exposed by opposing teams.”
What about a replacement in Seattle? For me, you just draft a guy. It’s what most teams do. New Orleans had UDFA Chase Daniels backing up Drew Brees until he recently switched to Kansas City. Green Bay had 7th rounder Matt Flynn backing up Aaron Rodgers, and then went with UDFA Graham Harrell. New England had 7th rounder Matt Cassel, then UDFA Brian Hoyer and now third round pick Ryan Mallett backing up Tom Brady. For years Peyton Manning was backed up in Indianapolis by 6th rounder Jim Sorgi.
Seattle might as well do the same.
There are quarterbacks in this class worth a look in the later rounds or in UDFA. Sean Renfree, Colby Cameron, Zach Dysert, Alex Carder, B.J. Daniels. They could go for their own version of Mallett in round three if Tyler Bray is still on the board. Let’s also remember that John Schneider was part of a Green Bay front office that drafted Brian Brohm in round two despite having Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers on the roster already. So don’t rule out a quarterback being taken at #56. The cost per year would be between $600k-1.2m over four years. Essentially, great value with the upside of a possible Kevin Kolb-type trade down the line.
It’s safe to assume they’ll have an open competition in camp for the backup role. This could include a couple of rookies and a veteran on the minimum salary. Tyler Thigpen could be a good shout — a personal favourite after I saw him live for Kansas City in 2008.
If or when Flynn is traded, it’ll be a relief to have a situation where we aren’t talking about the backup quarterback any more. Two years of chatter about Charlie Whitehurst followed by a year of Matt Flynn is enough. The New Orleans media and fans never gave this much attention to Chase Daniels. Roll on the day where Seattle’s backup is simply the guy who models the latest range of caps and doesn’t earn a relative fortune to hold a clipboard.
It appears the Raiders want Flynn to take a pay cut. As the Tweet below kind of spells out, I wouldn’t be optimistic about any relatively high picks being involved here.
Matt Flynn is set to make about same $ as Matt Hasselbeck. Raiders want Flynn to take pay cut. Shows how they see him.
— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) March 29, 2013