Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Did The Seahawks Mess Up With The Matt Flynn Trade?

The Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to be their quarterback of the future.  He was given a three year deal to play quarterback and was given around 6 million dollars annually.  Then the enigma that is Russell Wilson happened.  He controversially took the starting job from Flynn when nobody expected it to happen.  People thought it was just another Pete Carroll NFL mistake.  Boy, were they wrong.  Wilson took the league by storm and jumped right into the conversation for Rookie of the Year.  Now that wouldn't always be a big deal, but this year it was.  You had the best quarterback prospect in 25 years, the best dual threat quarterback possibly ever, and two players in the top five in rushing in the whole league.  Basically, it was a very good year for rookies in the NFL. 

This left Flynn on the outside looking in.  We knew Flynn was going to be moved because there was no way Seattle would have let that cap hit happen in 2013.  On Monday the Seahawks agreed to trade him to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for two future picks (5th in 2014, undisclosed for the one in 2015) which will not help them this year.  Looking short sided they win because they know that he will end up in the other conference.  Matt Flynn cannot hurt the Seattle Seahawks in the near future.  There is a cog that was not accounted for however.  The Raiders already have a starting QB.  Carson Palmer was brought into Oakland in 2011 for the hefty price of a first and second round pick.  Palmer still has a lot to give a team that is willing to give him a chance.

Here is where the Flynn trade hurts.  Palmer is still good enough to steal a game or two during the season.  He was just traded to the Arizona Cardinals.  The same team that ranked 28th in passing and last in overall offense will now get a player who reached the top ten in passing yards while having Darius Heyward-Bey as a number one receiver.  Now he has one of the three best receivers in the league with Larry Fitzgerald and a decent supporting cast with Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd.  The rushing game has improved immensely with ties being cut on Beanie Wells (finally) and them bringing in Rashard Mendenhall to replace him.  When healthy, Mendenhall can be one of the better runners in the game.  He will help a rushing game that ranked dead last in yards and yards per attempt.  Ryan Williams will come back once again from a freak shoulder injury that should be fully healed by the start of training camp.

With a defense that is nothing to overlook, the addition of Palmer may be a serious threat to the big dogs of the NFC West.  Once thought of as the forgettable division that could make the playoffs without having a winning record is now quite possibly the most dominant.  The Cards ranked second in interceptions and twelfth overall in the entire NFL in team defense.  They beat both the Patriots and Seahawks early in the season with good defense.  They have players like Patrick Peterson and Darnell Dockett to sure up any holes that might be on that side of the ball.

Seattle cannot waste any losses this year.  They have to face off with San Francisco for who will reign supreme in the division, maybe even the conference.  The win that was stolen from them by the Cardinals in 2012 ended up costing them the division.  Now they have made their biggest weakness a strength at the quarterback position.  The Cards now have the ability to hurt the Seahawks.  If enough goes right for Arizona, then they could even steal a playoff position from the team that was responsible for getting them the piece that they so sorely needed.  If Harvin doesn't live up to the expectation and Palmer does then this could be the Philadelphia dream team all over again.

The fact of the matter is that Seattle just inadvertently made a division rival increasingly better.  They had a guy who is in FU mode and is ready to show the NFL world that it was the Raiders that were hurting him, not the other way around.  He ended the season with a 85.3 QBR and broke four thousand yards passing.  Seattle was so desperate to get rid of Flynn, and now they made a division rival immensely better.  Palmer is going to go into Arizona with a chip on his shoulder.  He is going to revive Larry Fitzgerald and he is going to keep this team competitive in the hardest division in the NFL.  They should have just traded Flynn to the Jets like we were all expecting.  

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