Friday, April 18, 2014

For Matt Flynn, it was re-signing with Green Bay or career bust

I suppose it will come as some relief to Green Bay fans that news has arrived that the Packers and Matt Flynn reached an agreement to extend his stay with the team, on terms currently undisclosed. Flynn was one of those cases of a player who “excelled” under the system of one particular team, and had built-up just enough credibility among fans and management to be forgiven for his limitations. From one perspective, his forays into the outside world were complete disasters; Flynn’s stock was so low during his brief stay in Oakland last season that not only couldn’t he beat out a quarterback with clearly inferior pocket skills (Terrelle Pryor), and he was cut after just one start despite having a higher quarterback rating (83.7) than Pryor would have that year (69.1).

From another perspective, Flynn’s loss was Green Bay’s gain, since his return last season renewed both his faith in his own abilities, and that of fans who thought he was never given a fair chance for a starting position. He clearly wasn’t Pete Carroll’s preferred choice in Seattle, and Carroll was more than willing to ride-out a half-dozen games of second-guessing before Russell Wilson played just well enough for people not to care if Flynn had any ability to perform as a starting quarterback if given the chance. There were, of course, rumors about Flynn’s supposedly weak throwing arm and bum elbow, but these seemed more like rationalizations to avoid starting him over the “sexy” choices.

After his disastrous stint outside of Green Bay and coach Mike McCarthy’s insistence that it was his desire to re-sign Flynn “if the money is right,” why did it take so long to reach the only choice Flynn had. It seemed obvious that the Packers had him over a barrel, since no other team was going to do anything more than bring him into camp to take a look at him. In fact, the only team that did was the New York Giants, and obviously they were not looking to replace Eli Manning. Flynn no doubt wanted to re-sign with Green Bay, but wanted the organization to show him a little more “appreciation” than they were willing to do. 

Former Tampa Bay and Minnesota bust Josh Freeman was reportedly of interest to both the Giants and the Packers. The Packers couldn’t have been serious about Freeman, but the threat was apparently enough to motivate Flynn to accept the best deal he could reasonably get, without taking a chance that his career could be over for good if he left Green Bay a second time.

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