This is probably pretty obvious to those who have conversed with me on the subject, but my QB of choice to start for the Raiders next season is Matt Flynn of the Seattle Seahawks.
Yes, I said it! Matt Flynn who is unproven, only started 2 games in his career even though he is 28, and got beat out by a rookie after being a major free agent signing should be the Raiders QB next year. The chip on his shoulder is immense and he is ready to start in the NFL and the team that should take a chance on him is located in Alameda County.
Flynn may be unproven due in large part to the fact he hasn't been able to get on the field. Each time he has managed to get on the field he has played well, although those times have been few and far between. He is accurate, he is mobile enough, he is very smart and he has a strong enough arm even if it is not elite.
He also knows how to win; having won the National Championship at LSU and having a Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers as a back up to Aaron Rodgers. He has been itching to prove himself and when he thought he was going to finally start he had it snatched away by a talented rookie. He has a chip on his shoulder that is as large as any player in the league and its time some team gives him the chance to prove himself.
If Flynn were to no longer be an option or if the Raiders decided against adding him then there are other options out there that could make sense.
There is of course rolling the dice with Terrelle Pryor but that would depend on how much he improves this offseason. Even if they go with Pryor to replace Palmer they would still need to add a capable back up to compete against Pryor for the starting position because TP has not shown enough to believe he is ready to be handed a starting job in the NFL.
The next option would be to draft a QB in this year's draft but that would take either a trade to acquire a 2nd round pick or using the number 3 overall pick on perhaps Geno Smith. I do not like the idea of either of those options myself though Geno Smith is an interesting talent.
Its just that the Raiders have notoriouisly flopped while drafting QB's and to take a chance on a questionable draft class at the position just seems destined for failure. That being said, if it worked, it would mean a franchise QB which would set the Raiders up for success for the next 10 years. If it didn't work it would set the Raiders back a few years and they have too many other holes to waste this 1st round pick.
There are some other interesting QB's in this draft not named Geno Smith -- Matt Barkley, EJ Manuel, Ryan Nassib, and Tyler Bray among others -- but its tough to say how long any of them will be on the board. It seems likely that all of them will be gone before the 3rd round when the Raiders have their 2nd pick so if they want one of those guys, some other moves will have to be made first.
Another option is one that may not be looked on favorably but it is out there as a possibility. This one actually could go right along with Terrelle Pryor being given the chance to win the starting job and that is adding Vince Young into the mix. Young has been a bust and a head case through most of his career but there is one undeniable fact about him -- he wins.
Young is 31-19 as a starter which is a 62% career winning percentage. Needless to say that is far better than the Raiders record during that span. Unfortunately for Young his attitude and the reports that he is broke financially have not boded well for him to find a new job. He did workout at Texas during their pro-day where he reportedly threw the ball well.
I mention Young as an option because there was a report that the Raiders had already been in preliminary talks with him earlier this month. I would rather not trust him but if the Raiders were to add him at least he has a pretty darn good career win/loss record.
One last option is that all the news with Palmer has been blown way out of proportion and their situation is not nearly as fractured as it seems. Carson is still a talented QB and if he wants to be a starter (which apparently is currently debatable) then perhaps there could still be something worked out.
The reports that he is unwilling to take a pay cut and does not want to play for a rebuilding team could just be a negotiating tactic, although with the way he left Cincinnati, it seems more likely to be true. He is not worth $13 million per year as a starter but the dead money from cutting him would put the Raiders on the hook for a lot of it no matter what at this point.
If the reports are true and Carson wants out then the Raiders definitely should move on from him after the draft. There is no place on this team for any player who is not interested in being there and if that's how he feels then hopefully the Raiders move on as quickly as possible. The Raiders do not want leaders who do not want to be here.
If it were up to me, I would already have the Seahawks on the phone and be moving on from Carson Palmer. He is not worth the money he is making even if he wants to be here and he definitely is not worth that contract if he does not want to be here. The experiment of having the last gunslinger in the NFL as the QB of the Raiders should be over this off-season, whether Mike Silver's report is true or not. A rebuilding team should not have a 34 year old QB at the helm.
Carson appears ready to move on, the QB's in this draft seem far from certain to succeed, Vince Young is unreliable, and even if the Raiders traded for Matt Flynn they could still hold an open competition with Terrelle Pryor for who deserves to start next year. Who do you think it will be behind the Center in 2013 for the Oakland Raiders?