The Oakland Raiders entered the 2012 off-season with an unquestioned starter at the quarterback position in Carson Palmer. For a while, it looked as though it would be more of the same this off-season as reports spread that the Raiders and Carson Palmer were working towards a restructured contract. Then reports broke this week that Palmer was extremely unlikely to restructure his contract.
Palmer's refusal to restructure his contract put the ball in the Raiders court and now, Reggie McKenzie may be lining up his first shot. If the Raiders get rid of Palmer, they will likely want someone to compete with Pryor for the starting job. Fittingly enough, there have been reports that the Raiders are interested in Seattle Seahawks backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
Most remember Flynn for one performance during the 2011-12 season when he put up 480 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Both of those numbers were records for the Green Bay Packers and as a result of that performance, Flynn cashed in with a three year deal worth close to $20 million, $10 million of which was guaranteed.
But before Flynn could prove that the performance against the Lions was more than just a fluke, he lost the starting job to third round pick Russell Wilson. Now that Wilson has turned out to be a stud for the Seahawks, Flynn is expendable and the Seahawks would love to be free from his contract.
If the Raiders have real significant interest in Flynn, it is likely due to his connection to Reggie McKenzie at Green Bay. If the Raiders were to take on Flynn, his contract would eat up the majority of any savings from cutting Palmer, meaning McKenzie really believes in Flynn. There is a possibility that McKenzie would only trade for Flynn if he restructures his contract, but he would still have to really like Flynn to give up what would likely be a 4th round pick when the Raiders are already without a 2nd and 5th.
What is more likely is that the Raiders are attempting to put pressure on the Palmer camp by showing that they are willing to look elsewhere to find a solution to the quarterback question in Oakland. McKenzie has shown that he is not afraid to cut big contracts, big names and presumed starters after getting rid of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff.
It is not likely that Flynn is the answer, but the fact that the Raiders appear ready to move on from Palmer is significant news in and of itself.