The Oakland Raiders released Matt Flynn today just five games into the season, and after their projected starter heading into training camp started only one game.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie traded a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 this offseason to the Seattle Seahawks for Flynn, expecting to hand him the starting job. Both Seattle and Oakland based their investments in Flynn on just two good games during his first five NFL seasons.
But just like his tenure in Seattle, that began with him as the perceived starter and ended with Flynn riding the pine behind a third-round quarterback who was younger and had more mobility, Flynn has once again been sent packing.
In Seattle it was the rookie Russell Wilson who took his job, and in Oakland it was third-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor, 24, beating out Flynn during preseason games. Pryor has taken command of the job with strong overall performances in his four starts, while Flynn’s disastrous outing against the Washington Redskins in relief of an injured Pryor saw him demoted to third-string behind Matt McGloin. In his one start for the Raiders, Flynn was sacked seven times and had two turnovers which led directly to 14 points.
McKenzie restructured Flynn’s contract soon after he consummated the trade with Seattle, guaranteeing Flynn’s $6.5 million salary this season. While the GM is certainly going to be under the microscope for the cash and draft picks he invested in Flynn, by reworking Flynn’s contract he has significantly reduced the cap hit in 2014 produced by cutting the perennial backup QB. And Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reported that since Flynn will not be on the 2015 roster, the 2015 conditional pick (which would’ve been a 5th rounder) will be voided. Good news for a Raider team still trying to build with young talent.
Overall, Flynn earned $14.5 million the past two seasons, even though he got beat out for starting jobs with the Seahawks and Raiders – with Business Insider claiming he made $14.5 million on one good game with the Green Bay Packers.
To replace his spot on the roster, the Raiders have worked out David Carr on Monday and had Pat White scheduled for a visit on Tuesday, according to Scott Bair of csnbayarea.com.
Flynn has not commented on the matter publicly. Raiders coach Dennis Allen is slated to speak with the media this afternoon in his weekly news conference.