Fans of the Seattle Seahawks are understandably excited about Russell Wilson and how he will perform in the future. Because of Wilson’s success in his spectacular rookie season, there is plenty of talk surrounding the future of backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
Is there wisdom in keeping him on the roster? Certainly. After all, every team needs a backup quarterback. Still, he is a bit pricey for a backup and there might be a team or two out there that could be willing to give up a draft pick or two for Flynn.
Would Seattle be willing to trade Flynn? According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, they would:
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
The question is, who wants him? Who needs him? There is a difference between a subpar quarterback and the willingness of a franchise to muddy the waters by bringing in another QB.
When you look at the NFL landscape, there are obviously some teams that have no interest in a new quarterback, either because they have an established star or because they just drafted a rookie quarterback and will give them a year or two to prove themselves.
This will obviously draw some debate, but here is a lengthy list of teams that are unlikely to be shopping for a quarterback. They are (in no particular order):
Washington, New York Giants, Dallas, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, St. Louis, New England, Miami, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston, Indianapolis, Denver, San Diego, Buffalo.
Obviously some of these teams have question marks.
Joe Flacco has not re-signed with Baltimore yet. Franchises like Tampa Bay, San Diego and Buffalo had less than stellar seasons and may think about an upgrade for the future. Still, those teams arguably have established quarterbacks that, at least on paper, are decent solutions that do not demand an immediate change.
Besides, is Flynn really an upgrade? This is the ongoing mystery.
Assuming those teams are not potential trade partners, that leaves Minnesota, Cleveland, Tennessee, Arizona, Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City and the New York Jets.
Of that list, you could point out that Carson Palmer of the Raiders threw for 22 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards in 2012. The Browns just drafted Brandon Weeden and may give him more time. Christian Ponder is a serviceable if not spectacular QB. It seems reasonable that the Titans will stick with Jake Locker for now. Again, each of those scenarios could be debated.
That leaves Arizona, Jacksonville, Kansas City and the Jets.
Arizona might need a QB, but there might be a sentiment that Kevin Kolb can still succeed. In addition, would the Cardinals want to do a trade within the division for such a key position?
Jacksonville definitely has issues at quarterback, but Blaine Gabbert is still a young thrower. Management will have to decide if they are ready to move on and consider that experiment a failure, or if Gabbert will be given one more year.
The Jets are, well, the Jets. Their quarterback situation is an ongoing circus, but would they add to the confusion by bringing in Matt Flynn to compete with Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy?
Kansas City is at the bottom of the NFL, and they need a lot of pieces. Matt Cassel had the worst quarterback rating in the league amongst starters. This may be a good destination for Flynn, but Kansas City may want to start fresh with a rookie rather than trade away valuable draft picks that could be used for other positions.
Overall, are there potential destinations? Yes. Are there an abundance of destinations? Not exactly.
As noted, there is the possibility that Flynn could actually be cut (via NBC Sports) in order to save the cost of his salary. Therefore, teams that are looking for a quarterback might take a wait-and-see approach rather than give up a draft pick.
Ultimately, there is also the question of value. Fans can dream about first-round picks or established stars being sent to Seattle for Flynn. However, the reality is that teams may actually offer a third or fourth-round pick and see if the Seahawks will bite. If the rumors persist that Flynn could be cut, those franchises may offer a fifth, sixth or seventh-round pick.
Welcome to the wonderful world of offseason football.