ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders released quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday, just six months after bringing him in to be the starter.
Oakland acquired Flynn in April from Seattle for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2015. The Raiders also reworked Flynn’s contract to give him $6.5 million in guaranteed money this season.
But Flynn was beaten out for the starting job in the preseason by Terrelle Pryor and then fell to third string behind undrafted free agent Matt McGloin last week, leading to his eventual release.
“It just didn’t work,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Terrelle came in and he took over the job. He’s earned the position that he’s in. So, we just felt like it’s probably best to move on from that.”
Sports Illustrated first reported the move.
Flynn made two appearances for Oakland (2-3) for all that money. He came in late in a loss at Denver on Sept. 23, after Pryor was knocked out with a concussion, and then started against Washington the following week.
He was booed by the home crowd from the start of that game and struggled mightily as the Raiders lost 24-14. He threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, lost a fumble in the second half and was sacked seven times as he lacked pocket presence.
Pryor came back to regain the starting job and led the Raiders to a 27-17 victory Sunday night over the Chargers as Flynn sat watching.
“This kid’s going to continue to improve,” Allen said. “He’s probably leaps and bounds ahead of where we thought he would be at this point in time. The key for him is he continues to work and continues to strive to get better on the little things.”
After spending four years as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay, Flynn was one of the most sought after quarterbacks on the free-agent market in 2012 based largely on one dynamic start. Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the 2011 season finale for the Packers against Detroit.
Flynn had also played well in one start the previous season against New England, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a loss.
Seattle signed Flynn and paid him $8 million last season even though he was beaten out for the starting job by rookie Russell Wilson. That made him expendable and the Raiders acquired him April 1 to be the heir apparent to Carson Palmer.
Flynn struggled in training camp with a sore elbow and was eventually beaten out by the vastly improved Pryor, who surprised the Raiders coaching staff and front office with his rapid improvement.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has apparently struck out on both of his major quarterback acquisitions this offseason. Tyler Wilson was drafted in the fourth round but was cut at the end of training camp and is now on the practice squad. He paid a heavy price for Flynn, who quickly proved he was not worthy of it.
Oakland also reportedly had interest in signing recently released Josh Freeman before he ended up joining Minnesota instead. That leaves Pryor entrenched as the starter for now.
Pryor was the final draft pick of late owner Al Davis, taken in the third round of the supplemental draft in 2011. He got on the field once his first season and played sparingly last year before impressing at the start of this season.
Pryor has completed 68.3 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 97.6 in four starts this season. He also leads the team with 229 yards rushing.
Pryor was at his best against the Chargers, completing 18 of 23 passes for 221 yards and no interceptions for a 135.7 passer rating that was the highest for a Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon in 2002. Since throwing two interceptions in the season opener, Pryor has committed no turnovers in his last three games.
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