October 11, 2013 in NFL Personnel
By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:
Despite entering week six of the NFL regular season this week, there were two big quarterback moves this week along with a contract extension.
Oakland Raiders release QB Matt Flynn
For the second time this season, the Raiders have admitted defeat at the quarterback position. The first time came when they cut fourth round pick Tyler Wilson right before the season started and placed on their practice squad.
After acquiring Flynn for a 2014 fifth round pick and a conditional 2015 draft pick, the Raiders planned on starting him at quarterback but six months later, he is a free agent. In training camp, Flynn battled with Terrelle Pryor for the starting job and lost.
With Pryor injured in week four with a concussion, Flynn came in and started, leading the Raiders to a 24-14 loss against the Washington Redskins. He went 21-of-32 for 227 yards with one touchdown and one interception (which was returned for a touchdown) and had a QBR of 2.7 according to ESPN.
After leading LSU to a National Championship in his only season as the starting quarterback, Flynn was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. That season, he beat out second-round pick Brian Brohm for the backup job behind Aaron Rodgers.
In week 17 of the 2011 season, Flynn got to start for the Packers against the Detroit Lions as Rodgers was being rested for the playoffs. Flynn played an amazing game going 31-of-44 for 480 yards, six touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 136.4 while leading the Packers to a 45-41 victory. He threw a touchdown pass with 1:15 left in the game to seal the victory.
The impending offseason, Flynn was a free agent and turned this performance against the Lions into a three-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks worth a maximum of $26 million with $10 million guaranteed. Expected to be the starter, Flynn was beat out in training camp by rookie Russell WIlson so Flynn spent the season as the backup and was traded to the Raiders in the offseason.
For a total of one start, the Seahawks and Raiders paid Flynn $14.5 million ($8 million from the Seahawks and $6.5 million from the Raiders).
Flynn might be able to find a job as a backup quarterback somewhere, though it could be tough to find a spot after getting demoted to third-string with the Raiders before getting released.
Minnesota Vikings sign QB Josh Freeman
Last week, Freeman was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a strenuous few weeks. After a few days as a free agent, he decided to sign with the Vikings over the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills.
Freeman opted to sign only a one-year contract so he can hit the open market again in March. This one-year contract is worth $3 million and when you combine that with the $6.2 million left on his contract from the Buccaneers, Freeman will make $9.2 million for the rest of the season.
Currently, the Vikings have Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel at quarterback so Freeman will be put right in the mix. Ponder has started three games so far this season but missed week four with a rib injury so Cassel got the start. Cassel led the Vikings to their only victory of the season and his performance was better than any of Ponder's so far this season. Last week, the Vikings had a bye keeping the uncertainty going as nobody has been named the starter yet for this week.
Freeman's best season came in 2010 where he threw for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 95.9. At this point in his career, it looked like he would be the quarterback for the Buccaneers for a long time but his play has regressed ever since.
Fitting into the Vikings' offense won't be a problem for him as it is a good fit. Freeman's best attribute is his strong arm and having all-world running back Adrien Peterson lining up behind him will allow for more single coverage deep.
Once you know how interested the Vikings were in Freeman in the 2009 NFL Draft, it comes as no surprise that they tried to sign him. The Vikings planned on taking Freeman with the 22nd overall pick, but the Buccaneers beat them to it at 17th overall. After losing out on Freeman, the Vikings settled for wide receiver Percy Harvin who has become one of the best playmakers in the league and was traded to the Seattle Seahawks last offseason.
Head coach Leslie Frazier has already said that Freeman won't start this week against the Carolina Panthers since he will need time to learn the playbook.
For the Vikings this is a good move as Ponder has shown nothing to prove that he is the long-term answer at quarterback and Cassel is nothing more than a good veteran backup at this point in his career. There is no long term financial commitment to Freeman so it is a one-year rental to see what he can do with them.
Minnesota Vikings re-sign DE Brian Robison
Finishing off an active week for the Vikings, they signed the 30-year old Robison to a contract extension.
The extension is for four years and will be worth a maximum of $28.3 million with $13.1 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $5 million. Each season, there is $550,000 available in incentives which are playing 80 percent of the defensive snaps, recording eight sacks, and recording 14 sacks.
Playing his college football at Texas, the Vikings drafted Robison in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. His first season as a full-time starter came in 2011 where recorded 44 tackles, eight sacks, and three forced fumbles. This was a breakout year for Robison as prior to this season, he had averaged just over three sacks a season and had only seven starts in four seasons.
He followed this season with another good year recording 37 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles and batted down seven passes after batting down one in his previous five seasons.
So far this season, Robison has 10 tackles and one sack so he is on pace to finish the season with 40 tackles and four sacks.
By locking Robison up, the Vikings have signed one of their two starting defensive ends that are set to hit free agency this offseason. The other is Jared Allen and currently seems unlikely that he will re-sign. If this occurs, then Everson Griffen would be in line to start but he is also a free agent this offseason.
The Vikings clearly have some decisions to make at defensive end this year and signing Robison is the start of it all. I think they overpaid a little for him but they couldn't afford to lose both Allen and Robison the same year. Now that Robison is signed, it seems even more unlikely that Allen will stay with the Vikings.
The Arizona Cardinals release WR Kerry Taylor.
The Arizona Cardinals sign WR Brittan Golden.
The Atlanta Falcons sign WR Brian Robiskie.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Brandon Stokley.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Billy Bajema.
The Baltimore Ravens sign WR Brandon Stokley.
The Baltimore Ravens cut TE Billy Bajema.
The Baltimore Ravens cut RB Shaun Draughn.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Billy Bajema.
The Buffalo Bills release P Shawn Powell.
The Buffalo Bills sign P Brian Moorman.
The Buffalo Bills sign QB Thaddeus Lewis.
The Buffalo Bills release OT Sam Young.
The Buffalo Bills sign CB Brandon Smith.
The Buffalo Bills sign LB Ty Powell.
The Buffalo Bills cut LB Marcus Dowtin.
The Buffalo Bills cut CB Johnny Adams.
The Carolina Panthers sign LB Ben Jacobs.
The Carolina Panthers waive LB Ben Jacobs.
The Carolina Panthers release WR Armanti Edwards.
The Carolina Panthers sign C Brian Folkerts.
The Carolina Panthers sign WR Marvin McNutt.
The Chicago Bears sign DT Christian Tupou.
The Dallas Cowboys cut S Will Allen.
The Green Bay Packers sign CB James Nixon.
The Houston Texans sign TE Jake Byrne.
The Indianapolis Colts cut DE Lawrence Guy.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Andy Studebaker.
The Indianapolis Colts sign RB Daniel Herron.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut G Jacques McClendon.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut WR Jeremy Ebert.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign G Jacques McClendon.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign OT DeMarcus Love.
The Miami Dolphins sign S Jordan Kovacs.
The Minnesota Vikings cut QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
The Minnesota Vikings cut DE George Johnson.
The Minnesota Vikings sign DE Justin Trattou.
The New England Patriots release CB Marquice Cole.
The New England Patriots sign LB Ja’Gared Davis.
The New England Patriots sign S Kanorris Davis.
The New England Patriots waive LB Ja'Gared Davis.
The New England Patriots waive S Kanorris Davis.
The New England Patriots sign CB Marquice Cole.
The New England Patriots sign DT Andre Neblett.
The New Orleans Saints cut LB Jay Richardson.
The New Orleans Saints sign DL Keyunta Dawson.
The New York Giants waive C Dallas Reynolds.
The New York Giants sign RB Da'Rel Scott.
The New York Jets release LB Scott Solomon.
The New York Jets sign WR Michael Campbell.
The New York Jets cut WR Ryan Spadola.
The New York Jets cut LB Ricky Sapp.
The New York Jets sign LB Ricky Sapp.
The Oakland Raiders sign OT Jack Cornell.
The Oakland Raiders waive G Antoine McClain.
The Oakland Raiders sign WR Andre Holmes.
The Oakland Raiders waive OT Jack Cornell.
The Oakland Raiders sign DT Daniel Muir.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign LB Stevenson Sylvester.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut LB Kion Wilson.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign S Will Allen.
The San Diego Chargers cut DE Jarius Wynn.
The San Francisco 49ers cut QB John Skelton.
The Seattle Seahawks release WR Stephen Williams.
The Tennessee Titans sign QB Rusty Smith.
The Tennessee Titans waive DE Keyunta Dawson.