When the Oakland Raiders acquired quarterback Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks this offseason, the buzz around the league was abundant.
Fans and critics were all over the place. Some said it was good, and some said it was bad. Some said Flynn was the right choice, and some said he was the wrong choice.
However, the bottom line is that at the time, it was the right move.
The Raiders traded for Flynn and then shipped off quarterback Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals shortly after. Flynn was looked at as the presumed starter of the team from the second he was brought to Oakland, and rightfully so.
Flynn is the same guy who served as a backup to legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers for several years in Green Bay, and the same guy who signed a three-year, $26 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks before getting benched for rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. But Oakland might be Flynn’s big break.
He will be coming to a team that is hungry for the slightest bit of success, and all the moves that general manager Reggie McKenzie has pulled off this offseason have helped put all the right pieces in place for a solid Raiders season.
Flynn is a legitimate starting quarterback. His accuracy and arm strength are of great quality, and his vision and awareness fall in the same category. Only thing is, he hasn’t really had much NFL game-time experience, as he has served as a backup quarterback throughout his entire career.
Will Flynn start every game for the Raiders next season? That’s what most people thought, until the 2013 NFL Draft came.
The Raiders used their fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to select quarterback Tyler Wilson out of Arkansas. At the time, it didn’t seem like too big of a deal, in fact, many were scratching their heads at the move.
Why did the Raiders draft a quarterback in the fourth round when they had just acquired Flynn and had so many other holes to fill? Nobody will know.
But maybe it actually was the right move. Maybe the young gun from Arkansas can actually play ball.
Now, the last thing that Flynn wants to happen is for another mid-round draft pick with the last name of Wilson to beat him for the starting job before the season starts and force him to ride the bench all year.
But many have been raving about how surprised they are with rookie Tyler Wilson’s play thus far through rookie mini camp and OTAs, including Dennis Allen.
“Obviously, picking up a new system, there’s a little bit of rust there,” Allen said. “But throwing the ball, he’s done a nice job. I don’t have any question about his arm strength and his accuracy.”
Wilson is a great young talent, and he has a lot of great qualities that will help him excel at the professional level. He definitely has the arm strength to complete deep passes down the field to Oakland’s speedy receivers, and he boasts a very accurate arm. One thing that most people will also realize about Wilson is his leadership skills, as he was able to rally his troops during his time at Arkansas while all of the drama surrounding head coach Bobby Petrino was going on.
Then there is Terrelle Pryor, who the Raiders have had under their belt for a few years now after drafting the Ohio State product in the 2011 NFL supplemental draft. He hasn’t done much in his stint with the Raiders thus far, aside from starting the last game of last season, which ended up in a loss.
Lastly, Matt McGloin, the Raiders’ undrafted free agent out of Penn State, remains on the depth chart and could give Flynn, Wilson, and Pryor a run for their money.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, McGloin is gaining more attention and “pushing Tyler Wilson and Terrelle Pryor. So watch out for McGloin to climb up the depth chart if he continues this.”
The emergence of McGloin just goes to show that the Raiders really don’t have their franchise quarterback yet. Their team has a huge hole to fill and they need to address that big question mark soon.
I believe the Raiders’ quarterback matchup is going to be Flynn against Wilson, and that sure sounds like a good competition to me. Both are young and hungry quarterbacks ready to make their imprint on the NFL stage, but they know that it will not come easy.
Matt Flynn may have been deemed the presumed starter, but anything is possible, and Flynn seems to have bad luck going against rookie quarterbacks named Wilson.
I don’t believe Flynn will start every game for the Raiders next season, and there is also the chance that he doesn’t start any, with all the hype that has surrounded the rookie Wilson thus far in the offseason.