The Raiders were unable to come to an agreement with Carson Palmer on a restructured contract, and that set in motion a series of trades that sees two teams getting new starters in a matter of days. Palmer’s refusal to accept a reduced salary, somewhere in the neighbourhood of a $3M pay cut, led to the Raiders trading for Seahawks backup Matt Flynn. A day later they sent Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals, where he’s rumoured to have accepted a larger pay cut than the Raiders had asked for, for a seventh round pick.
After the dust has settled the Raiders saved roughly $6M in cap space, and got younger at quarterback. About 6 years younger to be exact.
While the ceiling is a lot higher with Flynn, it’s hard to say whether he’s much of an upgrade on Palmer. Based solely on the fact that I’ve only two games to judge Flynn on. Sure, he set a franchise record in one of those games with 6 touchdowns, but that’s still 2 career starts.
This seems like a stopgap kind of move. There’s little risk associated with trading a fifth round draft pick and another conditional pick for a relatively inexpensive starting quarterback. This doesn’t hamper the teams ability to continue it’s rebuild through the draft, as they are only losing two late picks. Should Flynn stumble, there is only 2 years remaining on the deal. Should he succeed, well, they just so happen to have found a franchise quarterback. That would surely be refreshing in a market that’s had 13 starting quarterbacks since 2003.
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It’s not the best move, but it’s the right move. The Raiders defense was absolutely decimated by free agency and in case you haven’t heard this isn’t a great draft class. They can now put that 3rd overall pick to better use. As a matter of fact, I’d say the only person negatively affected by this trade is Terrelle Pryor. I somehow doubt he’s going to get a chance to start now, but then again... It’s happened to Flynn before.
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