Offseason Quarterback Shuffle

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As NFL fans and bettors, we’ve gotten used to the coaching carousel that spins around every offseason, but with coaches secure with their respective teams, it’s been the quarterbacks that have been rapidly switching sides recently.

Although all the big names seem to be staying put, we’ve seen a flurry of trade activity this week involving quarterbacks, as Matt Flynn was dealt to the Raiders; Colt McCoy was sent to the 49ers; and Carson Palmer was shipped to the Cardinals after seeing Kevin Kolb sign with the Buffalo Bills.

After realizing they didn’t have much use for $26 million backup Matt Flynn, the Seattle Seahawks were able to dump his salary to Oakland in exchange for two draft picks. According to USA Today, Carson Palmer was already on his way out and the Raiders were looking for a capable starter. At the very least, they wanted to bring in some stiff training camp competition for Terrelle Pryor.

There’s little doubt that Flynn will win the job over Pryor, but understandably, there is still plenty of doubt as to if Flynn can really make it as a full-time starter in the NFL. We saw him have some success in a limited number of starts with Green Bay before spending almost all of 2012 watching Russell Wilson guide the Seahawks to the playoffs. And let’s not forget, he had a strong team around him in GB and the kind of supporting players that, quite frankly, Oakland doesn’t have.

Flynn may be an upgrade from Palmer and then again he may not be, but the Raiders don’t have a realistic shot to contend in the AFC regardless, as they are currently listed at 100/1 to win the 2014 Super Bowl.

While the Raiders were most likely not bemoaning Palmer’s departure, the Cardinals were likely thrilled to pick him up after seeing Kolb fly the coop earlier this week. According to ESPN.com, Palmer was also exchanged for conditional draft picks and like Flynn, he’ll also have a great opportunity to start for his new team.

It’s no secret that Arizona’s quarterback situation last season was a complete disaster. The Cardinals got almost zero production out of Kolb, or John Skelton, but like the Raiders, the offensive ineptitude can’t be solely blamed on one guy. The Cardinals have plenty of offensive issues, stemming from their inability to run block or protect the passer. Palmer’s ability and experience may ease the pain a little, but don’t expect the Cardinals to be cured instantly, as Arizona also holds 100/1 odds for a title this season.

On the other side of the spectrum is the current odds-on 2014 Super Bowl favorite San Francisco (13/4), who also made a deal for a QB this week.

According to Yahoo!Sports, the Niners acquired Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in exchange for two late-round draft picks. Considering the 49ers already have the hottest starting quarterback in the sport in Colin Kaepernick, the deal might not seem very significant, but as we’ve seen time and time again, it’s always good to have a capable backup in case something happens.

And even as much as McCoy has struggled in his young NFL career, he’ll be joining a team that gives him the optimal chance for success and growth in the event that he does enter the starting lineup. Bolstering the position is certainly not a bad move for SF, even if it doesn’t necessarily improve its already strong futures odds.

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