Oakland Raiders: Why They Were Wrong To Deem Matt Flynn “Presumed” Starter


Dec 30, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn (15) warms up before a game against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Oakland Raiders shipped away Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Matt Flynn, they knew that they had acquired a special player.

Flynn, who has served his entire NFL career as a backup to Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, is finally heading to a team where he has a very solid chance of showing his true skillset and officially becoming a starting quarterback.

He’s got the precision and accuracy to complete passes into tight windows, and he also has a pretty big arm, which will allow him to cannon deep balls downfield to the speedy Raiders receivers. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the Raiders acquired Flynn this offseason, but I just don’t totally agree with the fact that general manager Reggie McKenzie has already stated that Flynn will serve as the “presumed starter”.

Yes, Flynn is good. But he is not the only quarterback playing for the Raiders. The organization should not forgot about their two other young signal-callers, Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson.

I believe that by giving Flynn the nod as the “presumed” starter then it significantly takes away the competition that quarterbacks are supposed to have. Let the starting quarterback job be wide open until all three guys are able to give the coaching staff a legitimate shot to prove their talents and for them to be able to properly showcase their individual skill sets.

Sure, Wilson and Pryor might not be ready for the job yet, but hey, you never know. Rookie quarterbacks have succeeded year in and year out in the NFL, while young guns have also taken over the reigns and excelled.

Pryor has only started one game in his NFL career thus far, and I believe that the Raiders should have given him more playing time. His combined skillset of speed, versatility, and playmaking ability alone should have earned him at least some more playing time for the Raiders.

Wilson, the Raiders’ mid-round draft pick this year, should be a solid talent. He’s got good arm strength, accuracy, and above-average fundamentals. The Raiders picked a solid guy and he will be able to learn a lot from Flynn and Pryor.

All in all, Reggie McKenzie has proven to be a great general manager thus far. Letting go of unnecessary players, restructuring expensive players’ contracts, and signing veteran athletes for cheap; he has done it all. Therefore, I trust McKenzie and whatever he opts to do with this Raiders team, and if announcing Flynn as the “presumed” starter is the right decision to him, then so be it.

However, waiting to announce the starter would have been a better move.