Raiders' starting job is likely Matt Flynn's to lose

Stephen Brashear

The Oakland Raiders will likely go with Matt Flynn as the starter to begin the season, so rookie Tyler Wilson will be fighting an uphill battle.

The Oakland Raiders needed a change at the quarterback position, so they traded for Matt Flynn this offseason. But they also added another body in Tyler Wilson in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. At that point, many have considered Wilson a "steal," thanks in part to the lacking interest in the quarterback class as a whole in the earlier rounds.

So now things get interesting as far as the starting job goes, right? Possibly not. Before the draft, general manager Reggie McKenzie noted that Flynn is the guy going forward, and anyone else in the mix will have to compete.

"We're going to begin with Matt Flynn," McKenzie said, as noted by Vic Tafur of, "Now, the quarterbacks who will be on the roster from that point on, they will all compete."

In other words, it's Flynn's job to lose. Wilson might be the future in Oakland, but it would be surprising to see him earn the starting job in Week 1. McKenzie also had more to say that reinforces this position after the draft.

When asked if Wilson can compete right away, McKenzie said "He's a rookie. I want him to learn the playbook first. Get out here and make sure he gets behind the center, not behind the guard." That's obvious hyperbole, but in the wake of the pre-draft comments, it's clear that McKenzie is confident that Flynn can be a quarterback who doesn't lose the Raiders games while Wilson develops.

"You want these guys to come in and just show the coaches and their team, number one, that they belong," McKenzie said. "Then all the other stuff will come."

Flynn is still looking for his chance to actually start in the league. After impressing enough in a mop-up performance with the Green Bay Packers, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, who planned to use him as the starter in 2012. But Flynn never got his chance, as the Seahawks went with rookie Russell Wilson, who led the team to a playoff victory.

All signs point to him getting that chance, with Wilson likely sitting on the sidelines until the following season, Flynn struggles big time, or the Raiders are too far out of the playoff hunt for it to matter.

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