NFL 2012 Free Agency Rumors: Browns' Interest in Matt Flynn Could Help Dolphins

Scott AltmanCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers signals during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the game 31-27.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

On Thursday, Steve Doerschuk of reported that the Cleveland Browns plan to make a play for Packers quarterback Matt Flynn.

This report should come as a huge surprise to anybody who is actively following the NFL news cycle right now. Up to this point, I think we all suspected the Browns would either trade up for Robert Griffin III or stick with Colt McCoy.

But this report could change everything.

If Cleveland were to sign Matt Flynn, the Dolphins would almost definitely wind up adding Peyton Manning or Robert Griffin.

I know many of you disagree, but I think Flynn is clearly the front-runner for Miami's QB job. He and Joe Philbin have worked together for last four years, and Flynn won't have to waste time learning a playbook—he already knows it. 

But Manning and Griffin are clearly the fanbase's two preferred options, for obvious reasons. Both would bring some much-needed excitement to a flustered fanbase.

And, I guarantee that deep down, Stephen Ross is praying Flynn will sign with Cleveland.

Ross should also be praying for John Clayton's report claiming Manning will choose between the Redskins and Dolphins to prove true.

If the Dolphins signed Peyton Manning, the city of Miami would ignite. 

Lately, the Heat and Marlins have stolen the Dolphins' thunder, but Miami is a football city at its core. And by signing Manning, the 'Fins would be the talk of the town for the first time in recent memory.

The organization can win back the casual fan and won't have to rely on opposing players to ensure sellouts. 

But there's a good chance Manning could prefer Washington. Mike Shanahan is an established head coach who won a pair of Super Bowl rings with 37- and 38-year-old John Elway.

Meanwhile, Joe Philbin is a rookie head coach.

Would you blame Manning for choosing the Redskins?

So, let's say Manning signs with Washington.

Then, trading up for Robert Griffin becomes the next logical move for Miami. If the Redskins and the Browns were out of the picture, the asking price for RG3 might be lowered, too.

Trading up for Griffin still might cost a fortune, but he would bring as much excitement to the fanbase as Manning would.

And the Dolphins wouldn't have any other options. 

This rumor about the Browns and Flynn could be—and probably is—a smokescreen.

But if it's not, then the chances of Peyton Manning or Robert Griffin III lining up under center for the 'Fins next season has increased dramatically.