The Oakland Raiders are changing directions once again.
The Raiders acquired Seattle backup quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday for draft picks, signaling an end to Carson Palmer’s brief tenure as starter in Oakland.
Fox Sports reported Palmer was expected to be dealt to Arizona. With Palmer owed $13 million for this season and reportedly unwilling to take a pay cut, the rebuilding Raiders went a different direction.
The Raiders paid a hefty price when they acquired Palmer from Cincinnati midway through the 2011 season, trading a 2012 first-round draft pick and 2013 second-rounder for the former Pro Bowler. They now will move on from Palmer before they have even finished paying up on the trade.
Oakland will send a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 to Seattle for Flynn. The Raiders will receive a late-round pick from Arizona. The Raiders will save about $6 million on this year’s salary cap by moving Palmer.
In preparation, the Cardinals released quarterback John Skelton, who started 17 games for them over the past three seasons.
Palmer, 33, failed to get Oakland to the playoffs in 2011, falling one game short, then the Raiders regressed and went 4-12 this past year.
After showing promise as a backup with the Packers, Flynn signed a three-year, $26 million deal with the Seahawks, but failed to beat out rookie Russell Wilson for the job and quickly became expendable.
Flynn, a backup in college at LSU to former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, has started just two games in five seasons as a pro. But it’s those brief appearances that intrigue many NFL teams.
He threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a loss at New England in place of an injured Aaron Rodgers late in the 2010 season. He then started the regular-season finale the following season, going 31 for 44 for 480 yards and six touchdown passes in a 45-41 win over Detroit.
If Flynn, 27, beats out Terrelle Pryor for the starting job, he will be the 16th quarterback to start for Oakland since the beginning of the 2003 season.
Browns ship off McCoy
Colt McCoy, who became expendable when the Browns signed Jason Campbell last week, was traded to the 49ers. The Browns confirmed the deal on the same day new coach Rob Chudzinski welcomed more than 60 players — including McCoy — for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program.
The team only said the Browns received two ‘‘undisclosed’’ draft choices, but a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press that the Browns got a fifth- and seventh-round pick in this month’s draft for McCoy and Cleveland’s sixth-round pick.
McCoy started 21 games in three seasons for the Browns, who selected the former Texas star in the third round of the 2010 draft. However, McCoy lost his job last season when the Browns took Brandon Weeden in the first round.
In 2010, because of injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, McCoy was forced into the starting lineup as a rookie and made eight starts. He started 13 games in 2011, but his season was essentially ended when he took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from Pittsburgh’s James Harrison. The Browns allowed McCoy to return to the game despite having a concussion, and the team’s mishandling of the situation led to the NFL making changes to its policy on head injuries.
Heyward-Bey picks Indy
The Colts agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick by the Raiders in 2009. In 2012, Heyward-Bey started 14 games and had 41 receptions for 606 yards and a career-high five touchdowns . . . Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is back with the Redskins, agreeing to a more affordable one-year contract after being cut for salary-cap reasons three weeks ago. A person familiar with the deal said Hall decided to return for approximately $2 million in 2013, a considerable drop from the $7.5 million in salary he would have made under his previous contract . . . Jacksonville released veteran defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who spent the last three seasons with the Jaguars, starting 15 games and recording 136 tackles . . . Ravens defensive back Christian Thompson was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Thompson played in seven games as a rookie last season before being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 17 with a knee problem . . . Defensive end Kenyon Coleman and quarterback Luke McCown agreed to one-year contracts with the Saints. Coleman, who spent the last two seasons starting in Dallas’s 3-4 alignment, will be reunited with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who held the same position with the Cowboys . . . The Titans agreed to one-year contracts with receiver Kevin Walter and offensive lineman Chris Spencer. Walter spent the past seven years with Houston, and had 41 catches for 518 yards last season. Spencer, an eight-year veteran, has spent the last two with the Bears . . . The Bengals re-signed cornerback Terence Newman to a two-year contract.