NFL

Raiders acquire QB Flynn from Seahawks

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The Sports Network
4/1/2013 2:03:12 PM
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders are changing directions at quarterback once again.

The Raiders acquired Seattle backup Matt Flynn on Monday for draft picks, bringing an end to Carson Palmer's brief tenure as starter in Oakland even before they are done paying the steep price they dealt to acquire him.

"Matt's one of those guys, even though he hasn't had a lot of opportunities, when he's had those opportunities, he's made the most out of those chances," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "We feel real good about that, and feel real good about getting a young prospect at quarterback."

Oakland will send a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 to Seattle. Flynn will compete with Terrelle Pryor for the starting job with Palmer on his way out of Oakland.

Fox Sports reported Palmer was expected to be dealt to Arizona for a draft pick. The Raiders traded a 2012 first-round draft pick and 2013 second-rounder to Cincinnati for Palmer during the 2011 season.

Palmer fell one game short of the playoffs that season and the Raiders then regressed and went 4-12 this past year. With Palmer owed $13 million for this season and reportedly unwilling to take a pay cut, the rebuilding Raiders went a different direction.

"When we looked at it, both from his standpoint and our standpoint, we just realized that it was time for us to move on and move forward," Allen said. "We felt like Matt Flynn gave us a great option."

After showing promise as a backup with the Packers, Flynn signed a three-year, $26 million deal with the Seahawks, but failed to beat out rookie Russell Wilson for the starting job and quickly became expendable.

Flynn, a backup in college at LSU to former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, has started just two games in five seasons as a pro. But it's those brief appearances that intrigue many NFL teams.

He threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a loss at New England in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers late in the 2010 season. He then started the regular-season finale the following season, going 31 for 44 for 480 yards and six touchdown passes in a 45-41 win over Detroit.

Flynn was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round in 2008 when Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie worked in the Green Bay front office. He has thrown 141 passes in his career, completing 87 for 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

Allen compared Flynn's progress to that of Matt Schaub and Rodgers, who have excelled as starters after years as backups to start their careers.

"We're excited with the fact that we're bringing in a young guy that we feel like has potential to be a starting quarterback in this league," Allen said. "We're looking forward to having him on our roster and giving him a chance to potentially be that."

The Seahawks must now look for another backup either in free agency or the draft.

"There's different avenues we can go," general manager John Schneider told 710ESPN Seattle. "We have a plan in place and it's contingent on who that player is. There are veterans who are available now, some very talented guys. Guys who are all football. ...

"There are also some guys in the draft we think are pretty interesting. We have a plan and we're going to take it as it comes."

Since dealing a 2012 fourth-round pick to Washington during the 2010 draft for Jason Campbell, the Raiders have committed up to six draft picks on quarterbacks with no proof they have found the right man for the job.

Oakland used a 2012 third-round pick to take Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft in 2011; dealt the two high picks for Palmer after Campbell got hurt in October 2011; and now have made the deal for Flynn.

If Flynn beats out Pryor for the starting job, he will be the 16th quarterback to start for Oakland since the beginning of the 2003 season. Campbell is the only one of those to have a winning record as a starter, going 11-7 in his two seasons.

Pryor got in for a few plays late in his first full pro season before starting the final game at San Diego with Palmer sidelined by cracked ribs and a bruised lung.

Pryor went 13 for 28 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 24-21 loss to the Chargers. He also ran for 49 yards and a score and looked more than capable running the offence.

Allen said there is plenty of time to figure out who will start.

"All those things will work themselves out," he said. "I don't really get into all that at this point in time because I think what happens is the cream is always going to rise to the top. That's what's going to happen. The great thing for us is we don't play a game until September."

Palmer put up prolific numbers in his first full year as a starter in Oakland, but that led to little success for the team. He completed 61.1 per cent of his passes and threw for 4,018 yards in 15 games -- second most ever for the Raiders -- with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

But with McKenzie overhauling most of the roster he inherited when he took over the organization last January, he apparently had little need for a 33-year-old quarterback. The Raiders will save about $6 million on this year's cap when Palmer is moved.

Matt Flynn (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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