Will Seattle find a buyer for quarterback Matt Flynn
before the start of the draft? (Rick Osentoski/AP)
Matt Flynn has been something of a forgotten man in recent weeks.
As the NFL's focus fell on free agency and the draft, any trade rumors involving the Seahawks' $19-million backup cooled. At least, that is, until Wednesday.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports that Jacksonville, Oakland and Buffalo are "in the mix" for a possible Flynn trade, with the Jaguars "the most likely destination." All three franchises clearly could use help at the quarterback spot; though the Jaguars, with Blaine Gabbert penciled in as the starter, arguably have a less desperate situation than the Raiders or Bills.
Of course, those teams also hold three of the top eight spots in next month's draft -- Jacksonville is slated to pick No. 2, Oakland at No. 3 and Buffalo No. 8. Given that the Chiefs, with Alex Smith now in tow, are unlikely to select a QB atop the draft, all of this year's quarterback prospects could still be on the board with the Jaguars on the clock, ,and likely to go quickly.
That is, if the Jaguars, Raiders or Bills consider any of the available QBs worthy of a high Round 1 selection. If not, then the sudden increased in Flynn interest (Flynnterest?) makes sense.
Still just 27, Flynn spent four years backing up Aaron Rodgers and had a monster performance against Detroit in Week 17 of the 2011 season. A few months later Flynn signed a three-year deal with Seattle, expecting to take over as the Seahawks' starting quarterback. The arrival of third-round pick Russell Wilson changed all of that.
Wilson beat out Flynn for the QB job in 2012, leaving the Seahawks with a very expensive backup.
Wilson's extremely inexpensive contract (he'll earn less than $530K in 2013) provides Seattle with some wiggle room to hold onto Flynn; $2 million of Flynn's $5.25 million 2013 salary is guaranteed, plus he has $4 million of his prorated signing bonus remaining.
Those numbers would not look as gaudy if Flynn were starting somewhere. Oakland, for example, is set to owe Carson Palmer $13 million next season, though his imminent release is a key factor in any Raiders pursuit of Flynn.
Flynn has just two NFL starts under his belt -- that 44-31 win over Detroit, in which he threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns (both Green Bay records), and a 31-27 loss to New England in 2010.
Trading Flynn would leave Seattle without a backup quarterback behind Wilson. However, the Seahawks currently sit sans a first-round draft pick because of their trade for Percy Harvin. Flynn likely would not bring back that high a value, but he should command at least one or two selections. The free-agent market at QB, which was unimpressive to begin with, is now almost nonexistent, which could push up Seattle's asking price.
According to La Canfora, a Flynn trade "could materialize before the draft." Such a timetable is logical, given that Buffalo, Jacksonville and Oakland all would prefer to have some plan at quarterback set in stone before heading to Radio City Music Hall.