NFL Notes: Raiders release QB Matt Flynn

NFL Notes: Raiders release QB Matt Flynn
October 7, 2013, 8:45 pm
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The Raiders reworked Matt Flynn's contract to give his $6.5 million guaranteed this season. (USA Today Images)

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders have released quarterback Matt Flynn just six months after bringing him in to be the starter.

The Raiders announced the move on Monday. Sports Illustrated first reported the release.

Oakland acquired Flynn in April from Seattle for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2015. The Raiders also reworked Flynn's contract to give him $6.5 million in guaranteed money this season.

But Flynn was beaten out in the preseason by Terrelle Pryor. He started in place of an injured Pryor on Sept. 29 against Washington and threw an interception returned for a touchdown, lost a fumble and was sacked seven times. He was demoted to third string after that game, behind undrafted free agent Matt McGloin (see full story).

Vikings: Freeman won't start Sunday
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota's starting quarterback this week will be Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder, not Josh Freeman.

Beyond Sunday, there's no guarantee.

The Vikings were finalizing Freeman's contract Monday. He didn't make it in time for practice but was scheduled to arrive later in the day. Coach Leslie Frazier said there's not enough time for Freeman to learn the offense and play this weekend at Carolina, but the Vikings didn't sign him just for depth. They're trying to save the season after losing their first three games.

Frazier said Ponder is still the starter if he's healthy, but he's recovering from a broken rib that kept him out of the win over Pittsburgh Sept. 29. Cassel played that game and will keep the job if Ponder isn't cleared for action (see full story).

Bills: Thad Lewis to start at QB
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills are turning to Thad Lewis as their starter, promoting the untested quarterback off the practice squad.

Coach Doug Marrone said on his weekly show on Buffalo's WGR-Radio on Monday that Lewis will start Sunday when the Bills host Cincinnati.

Lewis will be filling in for EJ Manuel, who is out indefinitely. The rookie sprained his right knee in a loss to Cleveland on Thursday.

The Bills acquired Lewis in trade with Detroit in August after Manuel was sidelined with a left knee injury and veteran Kevin Kolb sustained a season-ending concussion.

Buffalo elected to stay in-house in its quarterback search after working out Pat White and Dennis Dixon on Sunday (see full story).

Panthers: Smith calls umpire 'garbage'
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is upset with the officiating in Carolina's 22-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, calling a member of Sunday's crew "garbage."

The 34-year-old Smith on Monday said umpire Dan Ferrell is "the sorriest referee I've ever met." Smith added that Ferrell "received a check that day and I hope he feels good, because he was terrible."

Smith acknowledged his comments would likely draw a fine from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but says he doesn't care.

Smith says, "To be honest, I make enough money where if Roger were to fine me, he can."

He is upset over several calls, including one where he felt an Arizona defensive back grabbed his jersey and another where he was flagged for offensive pass interference (see full story).

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