The Seahawks have agreed terms with free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, formerly of Green Bay. ESPN is reporting a $26m contract over three years, with $10m in guarantees. Others have suggested it’s a base-salary of $19m over the same time-frame. Either way, Seattle’s ambitions in the upcoming draft just became a lot clearer.
Don’t expect a quarterback to be drafted in the first two or three rounds next month. Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson will compete for a starting role in 2012, with the situation likely to be reviewed at the end of the season. As we discussed yesterday, the Seahawks could already be identifying quarterback targets in the 2013 draft class. Flynn’s contract will offer the flexibility to move on in a year’s time if he fails. If he succeeds, the Seahawks could consider reviewing those plans.
We’ll have to wait and see how Flynn’s contract breaks down - particularly the guaranteed portion - but this could essentially be an incentive laden one or two year investment to see if he has what it takes to succeed as a starter. To date he has just two NFL starts after joining the Packers as a 7th round pick out of LSU in 2008. I’ve supplied tape (see above) from his finest performance of the two – a week 17 victory over Detroit back in January.
He’ll have to compete with Jackson, but should he win that battle – he’ll likely have a one-year trial to win the faith of the coaching staff and front office. I suspect the Seahawks will structure the deal with a get-out clause so if Flynn fails, they are free to move on in 12 months time. However, fans hoping the competition will also include a rookie drafted in the first two rounds will almost certainly be left disappointed.
Seattle is making it clear they are going to improve other areas of the team next month with their ‘impact’ picks (rounds 1-3). That’s not to say another quarterback won’t be drafted – it’s worth keeping an eye on the prospects expected to leave the board between rounds 4-6. But it appears obvious they’ll turn their attention to the pass rush, front seven on defense and running game in the first few rounds.
This is a calculated move which allows the team to concentrate on other areas in the draft, open up a healthy competition at quarterback and take a better look at a guy with only two starts to his name. Perhaps more importantly, it allows the Seahawks a chance to bide their time. The 2013 class of quarterbacks will be a healthy group, and it includes a player very close to this organisations head honcho. The signing of Matt Flynn may well satisfy the masses until the opportunity to pursue that particular player becomes available.
If you haven’t already, it’s worth studying up on the top three pass rushers in this draft class – Courtney Upshaw, Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples. And don’t rule out moves to set up a full-blown assault on the quarterback class in 2013.