After setting several single game franchise records with the Green Bay Packers in 2012, quarterback Matt Flynn was set to be one of the hottest commodities in free agency the following summer. Instead, Flynn found the market to be less than he expected, and he settled with a three year contract in Seattle.
The Seahawks realized a few months later that they'd drafted a gem in Russell Wilson, and year later Flynn found himself on the market once again. His new destination? Oakland, via a trade for what will likely be a late round draft pick.
What does the move mean for Oakland, Seattle, and the 2013 NFL Draft?
In the grand scheme of things, a trade for a player who hasn't ever seen much playing time in his career can seem relatively insignificant, but Flynn's move to Oakland will likely cause a domino effect for teams across the league. The immediate impact is obvious: the Raiders, who have been locked into a standoff with current starter Carson Palmer for months, gain finally feel free to release Palmer without having another veteran quarterback on the roster.
That's not the only move that will likely result from this trade, however. We'll likely see Palmer then sign with another QB needy team, and all signs point to his destination being Arizona. Not only would he provide an immediate upgrade for the Cardinals at quarterback, but it'd also probably result in another quarterback hitting the market.
Arizona wouldn't hesitate to move on from their experiment from Kevin Kolb at that point, which would mean another quarterback would be available to help a team in need of a quarterback address that hole prior to the Draft.
While this trade will end up providing several teams with more options at quarterback, it's unlikely that it's going to change how the Draft plays out, however. For the Raiders, Flynn can't realistically be thought of as a player that can be a long term starter. They didn't give up a costly draft pick to acquire him, and Flynn's contract is reasonable enough that they could easily still use their first round pick on a quarterback.
In fact, it could be argued that the acquisition of Flynn makes it more likely that Oakland will look to draft a quarterback early. There's plenty of potential in this year's class of quarterbacks, but none of them should really be asked to start from day one. Flynn is a guy that isn't likely to complain too loudly about the team grooming a quarterback behind him, and he's certainly an affordable solution until at least 2015, when he'll be due $6.25 million.
Whichever team acquires Palmer (along with the team that could potentially pick up the starter he displaces) couldn't realistically consider Palmer a long term solution either. It's pretty clear that Palmer's best years are behind him. Although he's only 33 and still probably has several years ahead of him as an adequate starter, a team that signs him could reasonably acquire a quarterback with a mid round pick as well.
One big take away from this deal? It pays to take a flier on a quarterback every couple of drafts. Green Bay found themselves with a valuable commodity in Flynn, and the Seahawks stumbled upon a franchise quarterback in the third round. In a quarterback driven league it's tough to have too many quality signal callers on your roster, and if a team ever does find themselves in that situation, they'll always find a way to profit from it.