NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Flynn Benefits From Matt Barkley's Return To USC

The Green Bay Packers must decide what to do with their talented back-up quarterback.

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Matt Flynn Likely To Become Free Agent, Makes Quarterback Market More Interesting

If the Kansas City Chiefs felt like Matt Cassel was not going to be the starting quarterback they wanted him to be, there's apparently some news on the horizon if they wanted to take a chance on another back-up. Reports are surfacing that the Green Bay Packers are not likely going to be able to keep Matt Flynn with the franchise tag given their current salary cap status. That means Flynn will likely be a free agent in just a matter of weeks.

Brad Biggs of the National Football Post writes, "It’s not a matter of not wanting to franchise tag Matt Flynn before trading him, it’s a matter of not being able to for the Green Bay Packers. According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers simply don’t have the salary-cap room to make such a move – and they’d almost certainly need to have a trade worked out in advance to pull off such a plan.

"The Packers might use the franchise tag, but it would likely be aimed at Finley, who has already said he would not be opposed to that. The tag for tight ends will be about $5.5 million. There are a lot of things general manager Ted Thompson must consider, and extending the contract of quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of them. Doing a tag-and-trade with Flynn doesn’t look likely."

Because of this, Flynn is likely to become a free agent along with other veterans like Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell. Certainly the quarterback needy teams mentioned in the draft as trade candidates for Robert Griffin III will also kick the tires on Flynn, but this opens up hope for teams likely too far back to be able to trade up for one of the draft's best quarterbacks.

Flynn might want a situation where he's clearly the guy, a la Kevin Kolb with the Cardinals last season or Cassel when he first arrived in Kansas City. That said, the Chiefs would offer him a place where he could clearly win the job in training camp while the Chiefs would have a competent back-up after enduring four games started by Tyler Palko. The money would have to be right, but this is also a team that saved nearly $30 million less than the salary cap last year as well.

All things considered, it would be a smart move to at least check in with Flynn to get an honest scouting appraisal and to check the prices.

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Matt Flynn Trade For Packers Could Bring More Return Than Matt Cassel Did For Patriots

Matt Flynn is going to leave the Green Bay Packers this off-season one way or another. Whether or not they’ll be able to receive any compensation for him in the form of a trade is what is up for debate at this point.

The back-up quarterback is among the top quarterbacks available this off-season, whether looking at draft options or free agents. At only 26, Flynn has already sat behind one of the NFL’s best for four seasons and has garnered some impressive performances in limited playing time for the defending NFL champs. That’s a nice pedigree, if limited, but no doubt teams will be enamored by his potential and the flashes he’s displayed — such as the 480 passing yards he put up on Sunday en route to setting a Packers team record (over Rodgers and Brett Favre, by the way).

But the last time a team traded for a talented back-up to be their new starter would be the Kansas City Chiefs, who traded a second round choice in 2009 for linebacker Mike Vrabel and quarterback Matt Cassel. It was called a favor at the time from Scott Pioli’s former employer — the Patriots — to his current employer as Chiefs GM since the Patriots gave two starting NFL players, including quarterback, for a second round choice. Maybe that’s why the amount for Flynn is possibly going to be higher.

Evan Silva is reporting that a first round choice might not be enough for Flynn — that it might take a first and third. That price is likely a bit high and we’re four months away from the NFL Draft even getting here, so the rumors are likely to continue to fly about Flynn’s price between now and whenever he’s traded (if he is).

Still it’s interesting that a guy who has only started two games in his four year career in Flynn would command more than Cassel, who went 10-5 as a starting quarterback when subbing for a near full season for Tom Brady. Cassel had to truly grow as a starter, carry a team with him in the huddle and learn the complexities of defenses that would see him over the course of a season. And the price was a second rounder for a 10-win back-up quarterback.

Flynn is the wild card and that will either play to his advantage or disadvantage. Some teams might shy away from a high price for Flynn because of his lack of gametime experience and point to the Cassel trade as a model. Or it’s possible a team falls in love with the potential over the product and buys at the high price Silva is reporting.

There’s no way to tell what Flynn is worth and anyone who purports to know what would be “fair” is wrong. Everything is guesswork for an unknown quarterback until he gets on the field and leads a team week after week. The Chiefs have learned to grow with their quarterback and even still the results are mixed. Perhaps he will be the next Matt Schaub or he could flop outside of Aaron Rodgers’ shadow. Either way, Flynn’s situation is going to be one of the off-season’s better subplots to follow.

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Matt Cassel Trade For Chiefs Gives Parameters Of Matt Flynn Trade For Packers

The Kansas City Chiefs traded a second round choice for their starting quarterback Matt Cassel in 2009 when Scott Pioli maneuvered for his former backup quarterback in New England. Now the Green Bay Packers are having to decide how to handle their own backup quarterback’s value as Matt Flynn is set to hit the market. Do they let him walk or do they franchise him and try to trade him to a quarterback needy team?

“Flynn is about to enter free agency, but the Packers would never be foolish enough to let him walk away for nothing,” writes Vince Verhel of Football Outsiders. "They’ll likely franchise him and trade him away for picks, just like New England did with Matt Cassel, though there is inherent risk in that decision because Flynn could opt to accept the tag. The Pats sent Cassel and Mike Vrabel to Kansas City for a second-round pick.

“Given how many teams are desperate for quality young quarterbacks to build around — Seattle, Miami and Washington, to name some of the top candidates — the Pack are bound to get more than that for Flynn. Any team that gets Flynn for a first-round pick may well have gotten quite a bargain.”

That’s obviously high praise for Flynn and not everyone feels so high on him, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with Flynn’s potential for the Packers to receive the payoff that they want.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Flynn Benefits From Matt Barkley's Return To USC

Anyone and everyone writing today about the Green Bay Packers prolific offensive display against the Detroit Lions is writing about Matt Flynn. Specifically, they are noting how much money he likely made himself by throwing for a team record 480 passing yards and six touchdowns. That said, Flynn had already made his money when a certain college quarterback decided not to enter the NFL Draft.

When Matt Barkley made his press conference announcement that he would be returning for his final year at USC surrounded by the marching band and all, Flynn immediately became the third best option for a team searching for a quarterback. Barkley was currently in that role, usurped for No. 2 by the surge of Robert Griffin III’s stock. But as much as teams are willing to pay for a quarterback (and as much as they need one), Flynn already had his suitors lining up whether or not he blew away the Lions, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

The Indianapolis Colts have the first overall selection and they will take Andrew Luck. The Rams and Vikings come next and they already have Sam Bradford and Christian Ponder in house from the draft over the last two years. Now there are cases to be made for selecting RG3 over both of those guys, but that’s not likely to happen and the Browns are on the clock at No. 4. That makes them the likely home of Griffin unless someone trades up.

In short, any franchise stuck outside of the top four choices in the draft must consider a veteran like Matt Flynn who has been stuck behind Aaron Rodgers. Or they might think about a guy like Landry Jones, if he comes out for the draft. There’s simply no one else to consider in terms of a rookie. Flynn, then, becomes the third best option and likely over Landry Jones no matter what the OU quarterback decides.

While Flynn might have added some additional bonus footage for anyone interested in his services on Sunday, the reality is that Flynn was already in the mix for teams like the Washington Redskins or Miami Dolphins or even Kansas City Chiefs depending on what they do with Matt Cassel. And he can thank Matt Barkley for going back to USC for his current position.

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