|Tom Hauck/Associated Press|
|Matt Flynn signed with the Seattle Seahawks last offseason, but rookie Russell Wilson claimed the starting QB job.|
With Alex Smith heading to the Kansas City Chiefs, we've already seen one tradable quarterback leave the market. What about the other one? Matt Flynn could net the Seattle Seahawks a decent bounty, provided there's a team that covets his services. Where do you see Flynn playing in 2013?
Jets could be interested, but Flynn's contract presents a problemThe New York Jets make a lot of sense. They need realistic competition for Mark Sanchez, and new GM John Idzik knows Flynn from his days in Seattle.
The problem here is Flynn's contract. He's due $5.25 million. Does a team really want to give up a draft pick and that kind of money for a guy who might not even start? I won't be surprised if the Seahawks are forced to simply cut Flynn because he has no trade market.
I wouldn't go after Flynn with anything more than a low-round pickI think Matt Flynn plays in Seattle next year, unless the Seahawks release him. (They could ask Flynn to take a pay cut, but he might refuse.) Alex Smith is a better quarterback; I like his arm and athletic ability more than Matt Flynn's tools.
There was not a big free-agent market for Flynn last year. In the preseason, I thought he was efficient with the short passing game, but he looked like an average QB on the rest of his throws. I would not go after him unless it was for a later-round pick.
Process of elimination leaves Cleveland as Flynn's most likely landing spotThe Flynn Landing Spot (which I think is going to be a Jim Carrey/Charlie Kaufman movie) is the most intriguing storyline for me heading into free agency. On the surface, it seems like plenty of teams should be in the mix for his services. But here's the rub: Plenty of teams either already have too much competition at the position, or they need to see other players play first. So let's break down the seven teams desperately seeking a franchise QB:
Jacksonville Jaguars: No. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are the main duelists. Flynn costs too much $$$ to bring in as a third man.
Oakland Raiders: No. They'll need to see Terrelle Pryor play a ton this season.
Philadelphia Eagles: No. Already set with Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon.
Cleveland Browns: Yes. Brandon Weeden didn't show enough in Year 1.
Arizona Cardinals: Yes. But forget about Flynn being traded within the division.
Buffalo Bills: No. Have already committed to a Ryan Fitzpatrick/Tarvaris Jackson competition.
New York Jets: Yes. GM John Idzik is familiar with Flynn from Seattle, and the Jets are looking to oust Mark Sanchez.
So it would appear to be a Jets-Browns battle for Flynn's services. But with reports that New York might be interested in Brady Quinn (seriously?), that means the Jets are going the bargain-hunting route. (Gang Green could be searching for the veteran to compete with Sanchez over the summer before likely looking to the draft for a potential QB of the future.) So that leaves the Browns, which makes sense. They can't start over again at the position, so getting someone who's been in the league could make for a faster turnaround. And if he falters, Weeden is still green enough in NFL experience that he can potentially take another step in his development if given the chance. Cleveland can't afford to not do it.
Market for Flynn isn't as big as some thinkI don't believe there is a big market for Matt Flynn's services, despite the lack of quality quarterbacks available on the open market. Flynn was unimpressive during the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks; prospective teams will downgrade his potential after seeing him lose his starting spot to rookie Russell Wilson in camp. (Although Wilson has emerged as a legitimate superstar at the position, the fact that Flynn was a marquee free agent unable to hold on to his spot will undoubtedly raise eyebrows.)
Now, I'm sure desperation will lead a team to make a play for Flynn, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in a Seahawks uniform again in 2013.
Seahawks would be wise to keep Flynn around a little longerI'm not sure having Matt Flynn play somewhere else right now is the right move. The salary-cap implications aren't impactful enough that Seattle must deal him. If something happens to Russell Wilson in training camp or preseason, the club would be glad they retained him.
Lastly, if another team's starter goes down before the season, the Seahawks' asset increases in value. Why not hold on to Flynn, at least in the short term?