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Matt Flynn to Browns Rumors: Why Ex-Packers QB Would Look Good in Cleveland

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 01:  Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packerslooks for a receiver as Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions rushes at Lambeau Field on January 1, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 45-41.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Drew BonifantAnalyst IIMarch 8, 2012

The mountains of hype surrounding Robert Griffin III are starting to pay off. Teams are tripping over themselves trying to land the rights to the former Baylor quarterback, and if reports are to be believed, the St. Louis Rams can expect plenty of teams to be willing to sell them the farm just to climb into the treasured No. 2 spot.

It could cost two first-rounders, Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says. Or two firsts and a second. Or even three first-rounders.

Madness? Nope. Just the price of a potential stud quarterback in a league dominated by stud quarterbacks.

There were rumors, plenty of them, that the Cleveland Browns were in the middle of the scrum, raising their hand, trying to get the eye of the auctioneer. But now, reports are that that may no longer be the case.

It's a good strategy. After all, why mortgage the future for draft position when Matt Flynn will be on the open market sooner?

The Flynn-to-Cleveland bandwagon has already started rolling. Hopefully, for Cleveland fans, the Browns are paying attention.

While Griffin and Andrew Luck are making scouts drool with their tangible talents, Flynn will be a free agent with a shining future of his own. At 26 years old, he's entering his prime, and he might be the most bona fide free-agent quarterback with two career starts that the league has seen.

If that sounds like a facetious jab at the former LSU Tiger, it isn't. Flynn has indeed only started two games, but the kid left no doubt that he's the real deal.

In 2010, his first career start came against the New England Patriots, the eventual top seed in the AFC. Flynn threw for three touchdowns, 251 yards and a 100.2 rating and came seconds away from a victory on the final drive.

This year, Flynn became a celebrity when he filled in for Aaron Rodgers against the playoff-hopeful Detroit Lions and threw for 480 yards, six touchdowns and a 136.4 rating.

He's poised and smart, and he's accurate. He's legitimate. And he's going to be available. And the Browns need a quarterback. Badly.

Cleveland might be figuring out the ups of landing the former Packer. If the Browns indeed are losing interest in Griffin and have passed on Peyton Manning, that doesn't leave many more top-tier options at the position.

Flynn would cost a pretty penny, but so would Griffin. The difference is that Flynn's cost will be dollars and the present while Griffin's will be draft picks and the future. It's one thing to throw draft picks out the window if you're a team missing that one key player for a Super Bowl run. It's another if you're several of those players away and you're looking to use your resources to diligently build your team.

The Browns are in that second group. They've bottomed-out since nearly making the playoffs four years ago. They need their picks to turn themselves into a winner.

With Flynn, you keep those picks. With Griffin, you surrender them. And when you've won 18 games in four years, losing draft picks is rarely the way to go.

If the Browns get Flynn, they can use that fourth pick to give him a running game with Alabama's Trent Richardson. Or they could match him up with an electrifying wideout in Justin Blackmon. Maybe they draft Morris Claiborne, the widely-praised cornerback from LSU, to combine with Joe Haden to form one of the NFL's best cornerback duos.

In other words, they get their quarterback for the future while keeping their ability to build one. It's a win-win situation, and for a team that's gotten used to losing, that's just the proposition it needs.

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