NFL Free Agency: Matt Flynn to Negotiate with Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns
Maybe free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn doesn't need to wait for Peyton Manning to make a decision before the Green Bay Packers' former backup starts heating up talks with other quarterback-needy teams in free agency.
Considered earlier as a fallback plan for the teams that fail to land Manning in the coming days, Flynn has begun contract negotiations with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, according to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Kelly reported late Tuesday that Flynn is likely to get a contract offer from both teams "soon."
Flynn may still wait until Manning is settled on a team to maximize leverage in contractual negotiations, but an aggressive interest from both teams is an encouraging sign for his value on the open market.
Both destinations make sense for the coveted quarterback this spring.
The Browns and Dolphins have both been widely speculated as likely landing spots for Flynn, who is almost certainly the second most wanted quarterback on the free-agent market this offseason behind Manning.
The Browns will miss out on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III after the Washington Redskins moved up from No. 6 overall to No. 2 last week. That leaves the team with limited options for upgrading a quarterback position that has been in a constant state of flux since the franchise rejoined the NFL a decade ago.
While 2010 third-round pick Colt McCoy has shown flashes, he doesn't have the same kind of potential and upside as Flynn. A former seventh-rounder in 2008, Flynn has developed under quarterback gurus Mike McCarthy and Tom Clements in Green Bay and was a capable backup in the limited opportunities he was given behind 2011-12 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
In starts against the New England Patriots in 2010 and Detroit Lions in 2012, Flynn was confident with the football and put up big numbers in the Packers' pass-heavy offense.
Miami may be the final destination if the cards fall right for Flynn.
The Dolphins have been rumored heavily with Manning since the Indianapolis Colts released him almost a week ago, but they'll be looking into Flynn if a deal can't be struck.
Miami has a natural connection with Flynn, as new head coach Joe Philbin was the only offensive coordinator Flynn has ever known as an NFL quarterback in Green Bay. Signing with the Dolphins would give both Flynn and Philbin a more seamless transition into roles they both lack experience with at the NFL level.
I am still under the impression that Flynn will wait until Manning decides his next team, but it's possible that either the Browns or Dolphins could offer Flynn a deal he can't refuse. As the Redskins showed last week, no price is too much for the chance to acquire a franchise-type quarterback.
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