Oakland Raiders: Matt Flynn Trade Close to Final, May Not Involve 2013 Picks

Clarence Baldwin JrAnalyst IMarch 29, 2013

It appears as though Flynn to Oakland is a matter of when, not if
It appears as though Flynn to Oakland is a matter of when, not ifKevin Casey/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders, long rumored to be a potential suitor for Seattle quarterback Matt Flynn, appear to have landed the 27-year-old QB. According to NFL.com reporters Albert Breer and Jason Rosenthal, the Raiders will acquire Flynn for draft picks.

The updated report is that the Raiders will send Seattle a 2013 draft choice as well as a conditional choice in the 2014 draft. Whether these conditions are final is still unknown. However, the sticking point that is holding up the trade is Flynn's current contract.

Per NFL.com, there is a chasm between the two sides because the Raiders want Flynn to restructure his current contract, which will pay him $5.25 million in 2013 and $6.25 million in 2014. While not huge figures for an NFL starting quarterback, Oakland's rationale for restructuring seems to be based on that Flynn is someone who will compete for, not be given, the starting job under center.

If for some reason talks break down between the Raiders and Flynn's representatives, there is also talk that Oakland might be interested in signing free agent Kevin Kolb. If that were true, Kolb could be an inexpensive fallback as he would cost no draft picks and could be signed for much less in base salary.

Ultimately, for the Raiders to make this worthwhile, the deal has to happen without paying Flynn the salary he is now slotted to make. Whether they get him to restructure or Seattle pays a portion, I can't see the benefit of paying a lesser quarterback than Carson Palmer more money (adding Palmer's dead money into Flynn's salary) than just keeping Palmer for 2013.

Flynn is an expensive component if Reggie McKenzie doesn't view him as the starter going forward. For a team that is not expected to compete in 2013, it just boggles my mind as to why the organization wouldn't give Terrelle Pryor a real chance to show what he can do, then position the team for a bigger swing at quarterback in 2014. 

The one positive from this news is that the Raiders likely are not interested in acquiring Geno Smith with the No. 3 pick in next month's draft. With so much defensive talent and tackles Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher likely available, this is a good time to restock the trenches for the Raiders.