There are a lot of NFL teams in need of a quality quarterback, but dealing for one in the offseason trade market is not a wise choice.
Arizona gave up a lot for Kevin Kolb in July of 2011. The Cardinals sent the Eagles Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round pick for a quarterback who would miss 10 games during the 2012 season.
The Kolb trade isn’t necessarily a cautionary tale; injuries are unavoidable, and teams can’t predict when their stars might end up on the sidelines. Still, making a trade for an unproven backup is a dangerous game.
Enter Matt Flynn and the Seattle Seahawks.
He told ESPN710 Seattle that “I’d be lying if I told you that we wouldn’t be listening to people.” That doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering how much Flynn is scheduled to make next year as a backup.
With a hard salary cap in place in the NFL, teams have to be conscientious of how and where they allocate money. Flynn’s salary isn’t bad for a starting quarterback, but it’s a lot of dead weight for a team that uses Flynn in a backup capacity.
So Seattle might move Flynn, and Scheiner is open to entertaining suitors. The next logical question is, “Who might want to trade for him?”
No teams have been mentioned as potential trade partners, but so many teams are in need of a quality starting quarterback. Seattle found theirs in the third round of the 2012 draft, and may have another to trade away.
But Flynn may not be a quality starting quarterback.
Flynn has played in 37 career games, attempting 87 total passes for 1,083 yards. He completed 61.7 percent of those passes and posted an average passer rating of 92 for his career. But apart from his 480-yard, six-touchdown performance in relief of Aaron Rodgers in 2011, he’s only had two games in which he attempted more than nine passes.
The biggest question for NFL teams is how capable Flynn really is. The sample size is incredibly limited, and if not for his huge game in 2011, Flynn may not be getting any attention at all from rival teams.
Many teams are searching for that hidden gem that can lead them to the playoffs and beyond, but it’s possible Flynn isn’t that quarterback, and giving up assets in a trade for an unproven quarterback certainly doesn’t seem like the safest way to go about finding one.
Apart from the obvious concerns about losing trade pieces, there is also the possibility Seattle may release Flynn this offseason, as reported by Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports:
While Seattle has told QB Matt Flynn they are willing to trade him, finding trade partner is problematic because several expect he'll be cut— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) January 23, 2013
If Flynn hits the open market, all bets are off. But there’s no reason to deal away players or draft picks for a player who may be released, and who may not even produce as expected with another team.
It takes a lot of patience to be an NFL general manager, and waiting for better options to become available is the best decision right now. Making a hasty decision to acquire Flynn could be a hazardous setback for teams in immediate need of a franchise quarterback.