|Joe Mahoney/Associated Press|
|In limited action over five seasons with two teams, Matt Flynn has a QB rating of 92.0 and a 61.7 completion rate.|
The Oakland Raiders acquired Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks in a Monday morning trade. The Raiders have missed out on the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, in large part due to their struggle to find a viable leader at the quarterback. So, what does the acquisition of Flynn mean for the franchise?
When Dolphins passed on Flynn, writing was on wall for quarterback's worthWhen the Dolphins decided to pass on Matt Flynn last offseason, it provided one of our most candid glimpses into his perceived worth. After all, Miami's coach, Joe Philbin, had as much knowledge of Flynn's game as anyone from their time together in Green Bay. And Philbin, desperately needing a quarterback, suggested the team not pay Flynn more than $4 million per year.
Does that mean Flynn will be a failure in Oakland? Not even close.
But it means, given the limited body of work, there's little way of knowing whether or not he'll be the answer for the Raiders. And he's certainly no more proven than Carson Palmer. Perhaps Flynn will be a better fit for the system. Perhaps he's more talented. But the truth is, we simply just don't know if the Raiders have found their guy -- or if they're just prolonging their search for the real long-term answer.
Flynn's inexperience, Oakland's lack of firepower ... not a winning combinationI don't believe the Raiders' acquisition of Matt Flynn significantly impacts the franchise. Although he'll be entering his sixth pro season, Flynn is essentially a rookie starter with a grand total of two NFL starts under his belt (one in 2010 and one in 2011). Another concern: Flynn will be taking over an offense with limited firepower in the passing game. The Raiders are slated to start Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford at wide receiver and Richard Gordon at tight end. While Moore has flashed potential, this group is anything but established. Case in point: Gordon has three catches in two NFL seasons.
Yes, Flynn looked great in his two aforementioned career starts, piling up 731 passing yards and nine touchdowns against just two interceptions. But think about the weapons he had at his disposal in Green Bay: Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, James Jones and Donald Driver. The Packers' receiving corps put fear in the hearts of defenders, possessing the explosive skills to mask Flynn's deficiencies as a player. This helped the Packers' offense produce at an exceptional level, even with all-world signal-caller Aaron Rodgers on the sideline.
I'm certainly not suggesting Flynn is a bad player and is destined to flop as a starter in Oakland. I just believe the talented supporting cast around him in Green Bay was vital to his success. Without similar support on the Raiders, he could become another disappointing starter for a team in desperate need of a franchise quarterback.
Flynn is stopgap solution for Raiders, who clearly aren't sold on PryorI don't think it means playoffs. It remains to be seen what Matt Flynn will do over 16 games. I look at this as a stopgap move for the franchise. Flynn is a smart and confident quarterback, but he is an average athlete with an average arm.
Flynn did play well for Seattle in the preseason, though, throwing the ball with great efficiency. But most of his passes were of the shorter variety. This is my concern over 16 games: Teams will figure out he is not very effective throwing the ball outside the hash marks and constrict the field on him.
This move is a bridge to the next QB. It also tells you that the Raiders are not sold on Terrelle Pryor.
Smart move, Raiders: Flynn's presence worked wonders for another mobile backup QBThis is a genius move for the Raiders and their new starting quarterback for 2013: Terrelle Pryor.
Yes, the Raiders just traded for Matt Flynn. So did the Seahawks last year. And look what it did for Russell Wilson.
The NFL is a copycat league, so the Raiders are just taking a page from the Seahawks' playbook and have acquired Flynn to motivate their own read-option quarterback. The Raiders have made some questionable personnel moves in the past decade, but this is one I sincerely endorse.
Flynn is no franchise savior in Oakland; he's just a guyIt doesn't mean much. Flynn was barely due backup quarterback money from Seattle, and the Raiders asked Flynn to take a pay cut. That shows you how they see Flynn.
He's a guy who will compete for snaps with Terrelle Pryor, but the Raiders certainly don't see Flynn as a difference maker. And they absolutely don't see him as a franchise quarterback. He's just another guy -- though a lot cheaper than the last guy.
Playing Pryor, and not having him battle Flynn, is the Raiders' best strategyI don't like this move for Oakland. You have to find out if Terrelle Pryor can play quarterback, and that won't happen unless you see him in games that matter. Putting Pryor in a quarterback derby with Flynn limits Pryor's reps and risks him being outshined by Flynn.
Don't think I'm advocating playing the inferior guy. I want the best quarterback to play, but the read-option guys must see the field so you can see how good they are. You can't tell in practice or the preseason how effective they'll be. Colin Kaepernick was never going to win a duel with Alex Smith, but look what happened when Kaepernick got to play. Tim Tebow will never blow you away Monday through Saturday, but what happened when he got his chance on Sundays with Denver?
Bringing in Matt Flynn creates a mess. When you have a quarterback who needs game action, and could be a superstar, bringing in competition can postpone or ruin that possibility. Pryor needs 16 games in 2013 to see what he is. Don't mess that up.