The Oakland Raiders have traded for quarterback Matt Flynn, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. The deal is a bold move the Raiders had to make. It gives them a fresh start under center and signals the end of veteran Carson Palmer's time in Oakland.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal reports the Raiders will send a 2014 draft choice to the Seattle Seahawks, as well as a pick in 2015, for Flynn. He failed to win the starting job in Seattle after the Seahawks gave him a three-year, $26 million contract in 2012.
Flynn lost a battle with third-round pick Russell Wilson. The rookie then guided the Seahawks to an 11-5 finish and a playoff victory, while Flynn warmed the bench.
He had joined the Seahawks to escape life as a backup. He made only two starts in four seasons from 2008-11, as the chief deputy to Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers.
Flynn should have no trouble winning the starting job in Oakland. The Raiders are arguably the most threadbare team in the NFL.
General manager Reggie McKenzie and youthful head coach Dennis Allen are attempting a major rebuild. Their efforts have been crippled by salary cap constraints and limited draft choices.
That makes surrendering two future picks a risk, but it is one the Raiders simply had to take. Palmer has floundered and now wants out of the AFC West.
The 2013 draft class for quarterbacks is considered weak, with only Geno Smith deemed worthy of first-round selection. The free-agency crop was even more suspect, so the Raiders had to make this kind of move to land their quarterback.
The challenge now will be helping Flynn fit offensive coordinator Greg Olson's schemes. Olson has traditionally run a power-based system that has helped running backs like LeGarrette Blount and Steven Jackson thrive.
However, his background is working with quarterbacks. Olson has coached the likes of Drew Brees, Josh Freeman and Marc Bulger.
He has often favored a vertical passing game. That suits Raiders receivers like Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford.
Yet it might not be a good fit for Flynn. In Green Bay he operated in a West Coast offensive system. Acquiring Flynn might indicate the Raiders are moving away from their long-standing fondness for the deep passing game.
McKenzie knows Flynn first hand, from his time working in the Packers front office. He'll know what system will best fit his new quarterback.
The Raiders are taking a gamble on a player with only two career starts. However, they can now the use third overall pick in the draft to fix one of their many other needs, notably defensive tackle.
Veteran starters Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly have cut ties with the team. Youngsters Desmond Bryant and Matt Shaughnessy also departed in free agency.
The 2013 draft is rich at the defensive tackle position. Players like Florida's Sharrif Floyd and Utah's Star Lotulelei will surely appeal to the defensive-minded Allen.
The Raiders haven't taken an immediate hit to land their starting quarterback. If Flynn comes good, they'll have their first competent starter under center since the days of Rich Gannon.