Matt Flynn latest string in QB offseason web

Matt Flynn is in the game.

The Green Bay Packers backup quarterback can be added to the list of players

who could be considered possibilities for a team that needs a quarterback, like

Washington, Cleveland, Miami and Seattle.


In Cleveland, Flynn’s name goes on a list to consider which includes Robert

Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and, yes, Colt McCoy.


The Packers chose not to apply the franchise tag to Flynn before Monday’s 4

p.m. deadline. General manager Ted Thompson did not want to risk paying his

backup $14.4 million if a team did not agree to a trade for Flynn. The thinking

was that given the money Flynn would command, teams would be reluctant to make

a trade.


The Packers still have a week when they can negotiate with Flynn, but even

starter Aaron Rodgers admits that Flynn will go to a team where he can start –

and command a large contract. In the season finale Flynn started for Rodgers

and threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns.


Teams, though, have to weigh signing a guy with two starts a $40-to-$50 million

deal. Flynn stands 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, but his symbolic stature is much

greater: He is the most appealing of all the free-agent quarterbacks.


The Browns are understandably keeping their plans quiet. The St. Louis Rams

have made no secret they will trade the second overall pick, and a recent

report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said they want to do it by the end of

this week.


The report also said the Browns are not willing to part with both of their

first-round picks this year (fourth and 22nd overall). That information has not

been confirmed by the Browns, though, because the team does not comment on

possible trades.


Shortly after the season ended, GM Tom Heckert did say that he acquired extra

picks to rebuild the team, and he did not seem inclined to trade them for one



That was before the euphoria about Griffin took hold. Talk to any talent

evaluator in the NFL and they will rave about Griffin. Smart, talented, a

quarterback but a great runner, great arm – some even say he’s better than Cam

Newton because Griffin is a better passer.


But ask if Griffin is worth giving up two first-round picks and the verdict is much

more split. Some say yes, that he’s rare, but then others who agree Griffin is

rare think it’s still too much for one team to give up two first-round picks.


Coach Pat Shurmur has maintained the team is in a good position. It can trade

up if it wishes, or it could keep all its picks and improve the team with three

of the top 36 selections.


If the Browns don’t trade up, it’s also worth wondering if they are open to

trading down, where Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill is an option.

Tannehill played for Mike Sherman in college, and Sherman is close with several

of the Browns front-office types.


Sherman also, like Shurmur, president Mike Holmgren, Heckert and offensive

coordinator Brad Childress – is represented by agent Bob LaMonte. The Browns

wouldn’t take a quarterback solely because of his agent, but they might be able

to gain a little more insight on him because of the association.


Then again, Sherman now works for the Miami Dolphins as offensive coordinator,

so it’s just as likely he might want Tannehill there. Except the Dolphins new

coach is Joe Philbin, who worked in Green Bay last season where Flynn played.


When it comes to teams and their quarterbacks, the offseason web in the NFL is

very much tangled.