Then came rookie Russell Wilson, whose breathless rise transformed the Seahawks' offense this season and kept Flynn on the bench from start to finish. Seattle has a nice problem under center, but Seahawks general manager John Schneider acknowledges Flynn might be shopped in the coming months.
"I'd be lying to you if I told you that we wouldn't be listening to people," Schneider told KIRO-AM on Wednesday. "I think we all believe he's a starter in this league, but we structure ourselves in a salary-cap manner where we're in a very good position with him. Having two quarterbacks like that is pretty special. We're going to do what's best for the organization -- period.
"This isn't like -- 'Now that Russell's done so well, what do we do with Matt?' We have two guys under contract that are good."
It's a rare and appreciated show of transparency from an NFL front office -- and it makes sense. Flynn is set to make $7.25 million next season. Just $2 million of that is guaranteed, but that's a steep price for a backup quarterback.
There's another wrinkle here. The Seahawks are one of a handful of teams using option elements in their offense. We wouldn't be surprised to see Schneider and coach Pete Carroll seek a backup who fits that type of scheme.
Flynn, meanwhile, remains a mystery. He's still the guy with just two NFL starts, but intriguing physical skills and enough allure to tempt a quarterback-needy team. With new coaches spread all over the NFL, Flynn should generate interest -- if the Seahawks are willing to part ways.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.