A move that first surfaced on Friday became official on Monday when the Seahawks traded backup quarterback Matt Flynn to the Raiders for a pair of draft choices.
Matt Flynn’s stay with the Seahawks proved to be shorter and less productive than anticipated when he was signed in free agency last March.
The former backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers, who spent his one season with the Seahawks as the backup to Russell Wilson, was traded to the Oakland Raiders on Monday morning.
The Seahawks received two draft choices in the deal – a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2015 draft – that first surfaced on Friday but did not become official until after the weekend.
Even though Flynn threw only nine passes last season, general manager John Schneider said the QB played a bigger role in the team’s success last season because his presence allowed the team to wait for Wilson rather than make a move for one of the highly regarded quarterbacks in last year’s draft.
“Matt was a guy that provided us, from the get-go, that comfort level to just go into the draft and not feel like we had to do anything that was crazy or outlandish,” Schneider said during an interview on 710 ESPN to promote Ben’s Fund as part of National Autism Month – Schneider and his wife, Traci, have a son, Ben, who is autistic.
“We could just stick with our plan and we knew we had a guy who was a solid starter.”
Flynn, who started two games in four seasons with the Packers, was signed to challenge incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job with the Seahawks. After being selected in the third round of last year’s draft, Wilson made that a three-way competition that he eventually won with strong efforts during training camp and a productive preseason.
While Wilson was tying Peyton Manning’s rookie record by throwing 26 touchdown passes and leading the Seahawks to an 11-5 regular-season record and the franchise’s first road playoff victory since 1983, Flynn was limited to those nine passes – completing five for 58 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
With the Raiders, Flynn is expected to once again compete for the starting job – but not against veteran Carson Palmer, who is expected to be traded to the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are in the market for another backup as the trade leaves Wilson as the only quarterback on the roster.
“There are different avenues we can go,” Schneider said. “Obviously we have a plan in place. It’s contingent on who that player is.”
And that player could be a veteran or a draft choice, Schneider added.
“We have a plan and we’re just going to take it as it comes,” he said. “We’re not going to force anything and we’re not going to get in a situation where we have our hands tied.”
Just as they did last year, when Flynn was added to compete with Jackson, and Wilson was drafted to compete with both.
It was the third preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City last August that proved pivotal in the events that followed. Flynn was scheduled to start, but a sore elbow on his throwing arm prevented him from playing. So Wilson got the start and directed six consecutive scoring drives – three touchdowns and three field goals.
Two days later, coach Pete Carroll announced that Wilson would be the starter for the regular-season opener and also that Jackson had been traded to the Buffalo Bills.
“It was more about what Russell did, more so than what Matt or Tarvaris didn’t do,” Schneider said. “Russell Wilson has established himself as, right now, one of the better young quarterbacks in the league.”
One who has made Jackson and now Flynn expendable.