It was a move that was likely coming after Dennis Allen called out Matt Flynn for his performance on Sunday in the Raiders loss to the Washington Redksins.
Flynn threw just one touchdown and turned the ball over three times by way of an interception returned for a touchdown and two costly fumbles in Oakland’s 24-14 loss. For Flynn it was his chance to prove to Dennis Allen that he can still be relied upon if Terrelle Pryor was to be unavailable in the future and Oakland needed a backup. Allen saw something other than that out of Sunday’s performance, summing up the thoughts of many in Raider Nation postgame.
“Matt didn’t play well and we have to move on. We have to get better from that,” Allen said.
“Getting better from that” appears to now be in the hands of Matt McGloin as the undrafted free agent quarterback out of Penn State who wowed Raider fans during the preseason will be Oakland’s de facto #2 for the time being.
McGloin had a strong preseason and helped lead the Raiders to a second half comeback against the Dallas Cowboys in his first appearance as a Raider in their home preseason opener. Working hard all offseason and continuing so after beating out fourth round pick Tyler Wilson for the final roster spot at QB, McGloin has now earned the trust of Allen to be the in case of emergency guy.
Talking about Flynn and why he was demoted, Allen bluntly said to the media yesterday that Fynn just didn’t show what they thought he had when they gave him $6.5 million dollars this offseason.
“It hasn’t worked out like we anticipated and we’ve got to make decisions and we’ve got to move forward and continue to go,” Allen said. “Matt’s going to continue to battle and scratch and claw and I still believe that he’s a capable quarterback, but we’re going to give McGloin a chance.”
Whether Allen truly believes that Flynn is a capable quarterback or not is another question, but there is no doubt that Reggie McKenzie is none too pleased with how his big free agency move this offseason has played out.
After Carson Palmer was shipped to Arizona as RM freed up cap space for 2014 he brought in Flynn for a eye raising sum this spring in the hopes of the former Packers quarterback realizing the potential he showed while McKenzie was in the Green Bay front office.
That hasn’t happened an now it has to be wondered how the Raiders could have better spent that $6.5 million this offseason.
The offensive line could have obviously been addressed, as could have the wide receiver position as $6.5 million can buy you something better than a third string quarterback who is now on his second straight season losing a starting job when he was groomed for.
In the end McKenzie has been bitten by placing his trust in Flynn rather than Pryor, who similarly showed his potential as a starting quarterback during Week 17 last season against the San Diego Chrgers before working with Tom Brady’s old throwing coach during the summer to work on his fundamentals. Nobody saw Terrelle Pryor coming until the preseason and training camp, and when he arrived on the scene it was far too late.
It needs to be said that McKenzie has done a wonderful job in building a 2013 Raiders team out of small one year deals to free up a significant amount of 2014 cap space that should help the Raiders rebuild into a team that can compete for the playoffs for years to come, the move to bring in Charles Woodson in itself makes up for McKenzie’s miss on Flynn, but with $6.5 million moving to third string on the depth chart some blame is in order this week.
There could be worse free agency mistakes for a new General Manager to make and Flynn could still be traded off of the books before the league’s trade deadline and will likely not be a 2014 Oakland Raider, but for this week the spotlight has been on McKenzie as it looks like Flynn was nowhere near the level that he was evaluated as. McKenzie put his trust in Flynn and he got burned. Hopefully this will be a rare occurrence with McKenzie as he appears to be putting the Raiders in the right direction as their first General Manager. If that rebuild is going to translate into longterm success, he will not be able to afford misses like this on a consistent basis.