By Chris Cluff
When the schedule came out in April, Matt Flynn’s eyes had to light up when he saw that the Seahawks would host his old team, Green Bay, in a Monday night game in Week 3.
At that point, it looked like a sure thing that Flynn, the quarterback the Seahawks had just signed to a three-year, $19 million deal, would be leading the Seattle offense. Alas for Flynn, Russell Wilson came along via the draft and messed up those plans by winning the starting job.
After a rough start in the opener, Wilson took advantage of a strong running game to put together a very efficient performance in the win over Dallas. But he hasn’t been spectacular. And – aside from a couple of scrambles for first downs — he hasn’t done anything that Flynn probably couldn’t have done.
With that in mind, if Pete Carroll wanted to be fair to Flynn, he would let him start against Green Bay on Monday night. After all, that is the reason the NFL made this game a prime-time affair. It was supposed to be Flynn leading his new team against his mentor, Aaron Rodgers, and his old team.
Instead, Flynn has gone from Green Bay backup to Seattle backup and will be playing scout-team quarterback – mimicking Rodgers as he runs an offense he knows inside out and giving the Seattle defense a good look.
“I’ve been running that offense for four years. So I guess if anybody can imitate him, I’m going to have a good chance of trying,” Flynn told reporters, per The News Tribune.
Although it is looking unlikely that Wilson will falter and open the door for Flynn to claim the starting job, the young veteran told reporters he remains ready.
“I’m ready to go whenever I need to go,” Flynn said. “That’s how I’m going to look at it. I still have confidence, and I think I can get the job done if I needed to.”
At $8 million, Flynn is an expensive insurance policy. But, assuming Wilson continues to make progress and proves he should remain the starter, the Seahawks will have to strongly consider trading Flynn next year.
Flynn deserves a chance to start, and the Seahawks should give him that opportunity while receiving something in return.
They received a potential sixth-round pick by sending Tarvaris Jackson to Buffalo. They could do a lot better with Flynn, even if he does not play at all this season.
The only way the Hawks would probably consider trading him is if he were in line for a starting job and they could get a second- or third-round pick for him.
If they aren’t offered enough or don’t feel like Josh Portis or another QB would be a good replacement as Wilson’s backup, they can keep Flynn for another year – at $5.25 million — and hope he is OK with it.
As great as it would be for Carroll to throw Flynn a bone and start him against the Packers (who knows that defense better than Flynn, who saw it in practice for four years?), there is almost no chance that even Unpredictable Pete will do it.
That’s too bad, because it means that, sooner or later, Flynn needs to go.
As Rodgers told Seattle reporters, via the TNT: “He’s a competitor and hopefully he’s going to get an opportunity at some point, either there or somewhere else.”
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Chris Cluff worked as a sports editor and writer for The Seattle Times for 11 years and has written two books on the Seattle Seahawks. Since leaving the Times, he has written about the Seahawks and Seattle sports for Bleacher Report and the blog he shares with a fellow sportswriter, outsidethepressbox.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.