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.