5 Possible Landing Spots for Seahawks' Matt Flynn
The Seattle Seahawks were just two games away from making Super Bowl XLVII. They were supposed to be led to that position by quarterback Matt Flynn, but he was supplanted by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson during training camp.
Now that Wilson has proved himself to be a solid NFL starter, that makes Flynn expendable.
Here is a little bit of a back story to how Flynn got here.
In the last game of the 2011 season—when Flynn was still with the Green Bay Packers—he tossed six touchdowns and cashed out as soon as the offseason came.
The Seahawks liked what they saw and signed Flynn to a three-year deal worth $26 million.
Sounds like a bit of a conundrum for the Seahawks to me.
Flynn’s cap number for 2013 is a robust $7.2 million. With Wilson at the helm, I believe head coach Pete Carroll may be confident enough to trade Flynn for what he wants: a pass-rusher (h/t Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune).
If the team does decide to part ways with Flynn, here are a few potential landing spots for him.
New York Jets
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James Walker of ESPN’s NFL Nation AFC East blog makes a light case for Flynn to go to the Jets. Besides mentioning how badly Sanchez struggles, he does point out that former Seahawks exec John Idzik is the Jets' new general manager.
He is the one who brought Flynn to Seattle, and may be willing to bring him to New York to compete with Sanchez.
The Jets will select 40th in the second round of April’s draft and 74th in the third. If Carroll is serious about grabbing another pass-rusher, then sending Flynn to the Jets—if they are in the market for him—for a second- or third-round pick doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Also, Sanchez regressed in 2012. He tossed 18 interceptions for the second consecutive year and threw just over 2,800 passing yards—the second-lowest total of his short career.
I think it's time for the Jets to look for another signal-caller.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, head coach Greg Schiano has already indicated that he’s going to evaluate current starter Josh Freeman. During that process, he has not ruled out bringing in another quarterback to compete with Freeman.
Maybe that second quarterback is Matt Flynn.
Freeman has a great frame, arm and attitude to be a pretty good starter in the league. Yet, he’s also mistake prone and can be wildly inconsistent.
Their draft position is just a few ticks below the Jets; they pick 12th in the second round, but it should be enticing enough for the Seahawks to maybe trade Flynn to New York.
The other question for the Bucs is this: Are they even interested in Flynn? Better yet: Are they willing to part with one of their eight draft picks for a quarterback who just may sit on the bench, again, for another season?
For Tampa Bay, just simply taking a look at Flynn is worth the time to sit and review the tape. Did I also mention that the Bucs will be $31 million under the cap?
St. Louis Rams
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It looks like the Rams will give Bradford one more season to get it right, but after three seasons, it doesn't seem like Bradford will ever be the type of quarterback the team wants.
His 2012 stats are good: over 3,700 passing yards, a career-high 21 touchdowns and he completed almost 60 percent of his passes.
Just like Josh Freeman, it seems that the team isn't fully committed to Bradford. If that is the case, then bringing in another quarterback to either push or compete with him is a good idea.
In regard to the Rams' cap number, they are just $1.8 million under and will probably look to slide further below that number. It is also expected that the Rams will release Stephen Jackson, or he will exercise and option in his contract to become a free agent.
If that happens, Jackson's cap number will not count against the Rams in 2013.
Flynn is more than a longshot to end up in St. Louis, but it is at least worth a peek. Plus, I'm not sure if the Seahawks want to trade their current backup quarterback within the division to a team that could derail their playoff hopes in 2013.
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That probably means the Browns will be in the market for a new quarterback. Weeden is a 29-year-old rookie who tossed 17 interceptions to just 14 touchdowns; so I believe Lombardi may be right in his line of thinking.
The Browns are also one of the teams in the NFL with the highest amount of cap room. In 2013, they will have almost $50 million to spend.
I doubt they will use a large chunk of that on Flynn, but nevertheless, if they want to bring him over, they have the money to do it.
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At first look, it really doesn’t seem like a ton of teams are in need of a quarterback in the NFL. But if we look at each division within the league, there is at least one team in all of them that needs or wants a new quarterback.
That takes me to Jacksonville, from I-4 to I-95 in North Florida. The Jaguars are probably done with the Blaine Gabbert experiment. According to new general manager David Caldwell, Gabbert isn’t totally out of the mix for 2013 (via Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union):
It takes maybe more than two years, three or four years. He came out as a junior and he’s a very young quarterback and he still has a lot of upside.
Caldwell also said that he’s going to look at some quarterbacks to compete with Gabbert. To me, that just screams "we want someone new."
How about Matt Flynn? He seems to be better than Gabbert, and the Jaguars wouldn’t have to mortgage their future to get him.
Their draft position in the later rounds is strong enough to entice the Seahawks, I would think. Also, the Jaguars pick high in all rounds—1st in the fourth and 2nd in the fifth, for example, which gives them a lot of leverage heading into April.
Flynn is still young, and bringing him in to compete with Gabbert may push him to the type of quarterback he needs to be for Jacksonville to succeed.