Matt Flynn has been in the NFL five seasons, thrown just 141 passes and yet remains one of the most coveted backup quarterbacks in the league.
The former LSU Tiger parlayed his brief but successful appearances in Green Bay to a fat payday in 2012 when he signed a free-agent deal with the Seahawks and appeared to be the long-sought answer to the team’s quarterback question. But, he found himself on the bench again when rookie Russell Wilson not only beat him out, but established himself as a rising star.
Now Flynn, who is due to be paid $5.25 million by the Seahawks in 2013, is being mentioned as a possible pickup this offseason by teams with holes in their offense. The Chiefs, Jaguars, Cardinals, Browns and Jets have all been mentioned as possible suitors for Flynn, who got into three games in 2012 and completed 5-of-9 passes for 68 yards.
And, you can add the Raiders into that whirlpool of speculation, too.
Back in December, Chris Cluff of CBS Sports in Seattle brought up the Raiders as a possible landing spot for Flynn, because “Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie knows Flynn from their days in Green Bay.”
Flynn’s price tag would be much lower than Palmer’s (about $13 million in 2013), and Flynn is younger (just 27). Plus, wrote Cluff, Flynn might be available for perhaps the price of a third-round pick this year, plus future considerations.
The Raiders would then have more room under the cap this offseason and have Flynn go head-to-head with Terrelle Pryor for the starting job.
On Wednesday, four NFL.com analysts weighed in on the Oakland QB situation, and Flynn’s name surfaced.
Adam Schein wrote that the Raiders need to immediately cut ties with Palmer and his big contract, saying: “Palmer isn’t worth $3 million, let alone $13 million. He’s a turnover machine on the downside of his career. I wouldn’t even renegotiate. I would simply cut the cord. He represents an ill-conceived, foolish, failed attempt by former coach Hue Jackson to keep his job while tossing away precious draft picks. Carson Palmer is shot.”
Schein also notes the McKenzie-Flynn connection and suggests the Raiders get him from Seattle – “the compensation won’t be too much,” he writes – and have him compete with Pryor.
Charley Casserly, another analyst, disagrees, saying Palmer is still a creditable passer, though his salary needs to be negotiated down. “If Palmer hits the open market,” wrote Casserly, “he will have suitors. Put him in Kansas City and the Chiefs become an immediate contender.”
Adam Rank, however, says the team must take a shotgun approach: re-work Palmer’s deal and keep him; draft a QB in the mid rounds; and have both compete with Pryor, giving the team three options.
Though the McKenzie-Flynn connection makes the Raiders an interested player for the Seattle backup QB, the Seattle Times in a recent story rated Oakland a “long shot” to get him because of its shortage of draft picks.
The Times rates the Cardinals, Jets and Chiefs as Tier 1 candidates because of a greater need and more trade bait; the Jags and Browns it puts on Tier 2; and Tier 3 consists of the Raiders and Bills.
But until the Seahawks make a move to send their high-priced backup somewhere else this offseason, the Raiders will likely continue to be a rumored destination for Flynn. On paper, it's a nice-looking match.