For a few weeks, following Kansas City's acquisition of Alex Smith, the AFCW has been home to three number-one-overall pick quarterbacks (Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer) and a fourth-overall choice QB (Philip Rivers) who was acquired in return for another one who had been taken first overall (Eli Manning).
That division-wide lofty pedigree is about to be downgraded a bit though, as the Raiders are reportedly nearing a deal to acquire one-time seventh-rounder Matt Flynn from Seattle to replace Palmer. Flynn had been the Seahawks' booby prize of last year's free agency, after the team's brass had flown to Colorado, only to be rebuffed by Peyton Manning.
Of course, the Seahawks ended up more than fine at the position after they drafted Russell Wilson in the third round, and now they're close to unloading Flynn.
According to Ian Rapoport, the two sides have agreed to the parameters of a trade that would send a 2013 pick and conditional 2014 choice to Seattle. But Flynn, who is guaranteed $2M of his $5.25M salary, has apparently balked at the possibility of talking a pay cut with the Raiders.
Palmer is due to make $13M in salary and has reportedly bristled at a pay cut of his own in Oakland; it has even been reported that Palmer preferred a backup gig with a winning team (perhaps across the Bay Bridge with the Niners) over remaining the Raiders starter.
The 2002 Heisman winner was selected first overall in 2003 by the Bengals, but his departure from Cincy was an ugly one featuring a trade demand, threat of retirement, and a failure to report to the team in 2011.
Incredibly, Oakland coughed up a 2012 first-rounder and conditional 2013 pick (a second-rounder) for the disgruntled quarterback, and after 25 games and 24 starts (with an 8-16 record), he already wants out again. In turn, the team is on the verge of replacing him, and would either cut or deal the USC alum, with Arizona a possible trade partner. Jacksonville and Buffalo have been floated as possible landing spots if he's released.
If Flynn ends up holding firm on not taking a pay cut, the Raiders may even pursue former Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb as a replacement for Palmer. Like Flynn in Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), Kolb's stock soared in Philly as a backup to a high profile QB (Donovan McNabb), only to have his career fizzle after landing a starting gig and big pay day, although Flynn's deal in Seattle was much milder than what Kolb had gotten from Arizona.
However this all ends, it appears the Raiders will be going with a backup-turned-failed-starter at QB in 2013, which is never a bad thing from Denver's perspective.
So to summarize, Palmer has led his team to win four games in each of the last three seasons, yet for the second time in that span, is forcing his way out of town. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why he's not treated in the media similarly to someone like, say, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin, or McNabb?