The Raiders' decision to trade for Seattle quarterback Matt Flynn and replace Carson Palmer is similar to a move made in 1999 when the club opted to part ways with Jeff George in favor of free agent Rich Gannon.
Like Palmer, George was a gifted passer whose statistical accomplishments were more impressive than his won-lost record.
Like Gannon, Flynn has bided his time primarily as a backup, lauded for his leadership skills and preparation.
The Raiders completed a deal Monday that brings Flynn from Seattle for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and conditional pick in 2015. The other shoe — dealing Palmer to Arizona — is expected to bring a mid- to late-round pick or picks.
The comparison between Flynn and Gannon — in terms of makeup and approach to the game — was publicly hailed by Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, under whom both quarterbacks worked. McCarthy was Gannon's position coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, and more recently head coach of the Packers, with whom Flynn spent the first four years of his career after being drafted in the seventh round out of LSU.
Gannon, who does some work on Packers preseason telecasts, also became a big fan of Flynn in Green Bay.
"I've talked to Mike a good deal about this guy," Gannon said. "I just know he's ready to go. I just think this guy is going to be a good player. I really do."
Gannon recalled a presentation he made to the Green Bay quarterbacks.
"Matt was very good. He asked good questions. He was a good note-taker. He was into it," Gannon said.
Before Flynn signed with the Seahawks as a free agent last offseason, Gannon told one Ohio newspaper that the Cleveland Browns ought to consider bringing him aboard.
Flynn, 27, has some of the same limitations Gannon had in terms of arm strength. At LSU, he waited four years behind Marcus Randall and Ja-Marcus Russell before earning the job as a fifth-year senior and leading the Tigers to the national championship following the 2007 season.
Recruited out of Tyler, Tex., by then-LSU coach Nick Saban, Flynn led the Tigers to a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter over Saban's Alabama team as a senior.
"Matt Flynn is a great person, exactly who you'd want at any place to lead your team," Saban told ESPN.com in 2007. "He's a great example of perseverance. Every time he got a chance to play as a backup, he did an outstanding job."
When taking over for Russell, who was the top pick in the NFL draft by the Raiders, Flynn explained in 2007 that it was important for him to understand his strengths and weaknesses.
"Whatever is necessary for this team to win, I'm going to do it," Flynn said. "If it's to hold on to the ball and not take chances, then that's what I'm going to do. I know what I'm capable of and what I'm not capable of. I'm not going to out there and be someone I'm not. I'm not going to go out there and be JaMarcus Russell."
In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers was the starter and Flynn beat out Brian Brohm, a second-round pick in the same 2008 draft by the Packers. Flynn was the 12th of 13 quarterbacks taken in the draft, No. 209 overall.
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