The NFL saw a flurry of activity Monday, especially on the quarterback market. The Oakland Raiders appear to have found a new starting quarterback, and the Arizona Cardinals may or may not be closing in on a deal with the Raiders' castoff. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers finally padded out the depth chart to make up for Alex Smith's departure.
Check out the reaction to those moves and more from what was an uncharacteristically busy April 1 in the NFL.
After the Raiders traded for Matt Flynn and the Cardinals released John Skelton, a trade sending Carson Palmer from Oakland to Arizona was considered a mere formality. Unfortunately for both teams, there still appears to be some work to do.
The issue is apparently over how the Cardinals will restructure Palmer's contract. The veteran quarterback was expected to take a paycut down to $8 million from $13 million next season, despite turning down $10 million with the Raiders.
The Raiders want Palmer's contract off their books, and the Cardinals are desperate for a serviceable starting quarterback. Both teams are reportedly pushing hard to get a deal done. When and if that deal will get done is still unclear, however.
Unimpressed with Carson Palmer's performance under center, the Raiders went ahead and made a deal with the Seattle Seahawks for Matt Flynn, giving up a fifth round draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 in exchange. The Raiders suddenly have a lot of money tied up in the quarterback position this season, with $9 million still due to Palmer and $6.5 million sunk into Flynn after restructuring his contract.
If Flynn is everything head coach Dennis Allen says he is, that $15.5 million will be money well spent.
"My impressions of him have been very good," said Dennis Allen in a conference call Monday. "He won a National Championship there are LSU, he was on a World Championship football team with the Green Bay Packer, so this is a guy that understands the thing it takes to win a championship. When you talk to people that have actually been in the building with Matt Flynn, they talk a lot about the type of guy he is and the type of football character that this guy has."
Flynn actually restructured his contract to be paid more this season, reducing the Raiders' cap hit for 2014. The Raiders are keeping a sharp eye on the future, and it's clear that they expect Flynn to be an integral part of their success down the line. That is, assuming he beats out Terrelle Pryor for the starting job.
The 49ers made clever use of their bounty of NFL Draft picks in their deal for Colt McCoy with the Cleveland Browns. The Niners gave up their fifth- and seventh-round picks, but picked up the Browns' sixth-round pick in return. The deal amounted to a drop of just nine spots from No. 154 to No. 163 overall, however, due to the teams' positioning in the draft order. San Francisco still has two compensatory picks in the seventh round.
The Indianapolis Colts may have scored a coup late Monday evening, signing former top 10 pick Darrius Heyward-Bey on a one-year contract that could be worth up to $3 million. Heyward-Bey failed to live up to the expectations of a No. 7 overall pick with the Oakland Raiders, but he was a productive deep threat at times.
Heyward-Bey's most productive season came in 2011, when he caught 64 passes for 975 yards and and four touchdowns. He caught a career-high five touchdowns last season despite 23 fewer receptions off 35 fewer targets. Heyward-Bey is averaging a solid 14.8 yards per reception for his career, putting him among the top 25 active players in the NFL in that category.
The Colts targeted Heyward-Bey after losing Donnie Avery to the Kansas City Chiefs at the start of free agency. Heyward-Bey is expected to start opposite Reggie Wayne, providing quarterback Andrew Luck with a speedy outside target.
DeAngelo Hall will be back in a Washington Redskins uniform next season, after signing a one-year contract worth $2.25 million late Monday evening. Hall was due to make $16.5 million over the next two seasons before being released just before the start of the 2013 free agency period.
Hall was forced to take a big pay cut due to his inconsistent play in 2012. As the SB Nation blog Hogs Haven notes, Hall gave up the second-most receptions and receiving yards of any player in the league but was also capable of shutting down Dez Bryant in Week 17.
A Redskins pass defense in desperate need of improvement may not be done targeting bodies for the defensive backfield, but for now Washington has a serviceable depth chart in place.
Pardee had one of the most fascinating careers in football history, standing as the only man to ever coach teams among the college, NFL, USFL, WFL and CFL ranks. He was one of the forebears of the run-and-shoot offense, which he used to run up 95 points on SMU in 1989 while coaching Houston, with the help of Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware at quarterback.
Pardee was an accomplished college football player as well, playing linebacker for Bear Bryant at Texas A&M in the 1950's. He went on to become an All-Pro in the NFL, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Pardee died Money due to complications from gall bladder cancer.