The speculation can finally end. Matt Flynn will be the Seahawks quarterback next year. Flynn and the Seattle Seahawks have agreed on a three-year, $26 million contract, with $10 million guaranteed.
For the Seahawks this ends a couple-weeks long stretch of disappointment for fans hoping that the team would upgrade their quarterback position. Flynn visited Seattle, which put him ahead of Peyton Manning in the fan’s eyes, but he left Seattle and even as recently as last night there were false twitter reports that Flynn had signed in Miami.
Flynn likely takes over for Tarvaris Jackson, who has a year left on his deal, and signs a contract that isn’t nearly as lucrative as some of the previous contracts signed by former-backups. We saw Matt Schaub sign for $48 million. Matt Cassel signed for $63 million. Kevin Kolb signed for $65 million. Obviously each of those guys had a larger sample size than Flynn, but signing a short term deal with presumably less guaranteed money than the former three quarterbacks affords the Seahawks some flexibility at the position, and Flynn the opportunity to cash in one more time if he’s productive.
Flynn is a guy that John Schneider knows well, and who has functioned in an offense similar to what the Seahawks run, but perhaps isn’t completely ideal for the offense, as most of his success has come out of the shotgun in his brief time. That said, Flynn has the physical tools to succeed in the offense the Seahawks run, and is plenty mobile to sell the bootleg for the running game, which is something Peyton Manning couldn’t do. Signing Flynn, or any starting quarterback, is ultimately a pretty bold move for any front office. If Flynn doesn’t work out, chances are the tenures of John Schneider and Pete Carroll will ride on it. But signing Flynn won’t stop them from still drafting a quarterback reasonably early, and a guy like Kirk Cousins in the second round may still be a possibility, considering the talent the team has at other positions.
The signing also fast-forwards the team’s need to contend, as their window is presently set at basically three years, or the length of the Flynn’s contract. That’s good for a team that relied heavily on a mid-20s runningback last year, and considering that Flynn will be approaching his Age 30 season when his contract expires, so if he is successful with the Seahawks potential five-year extension is a viable option.
Ultimately though, I think that the Seahawks overpaid for Flynn. I’ve been a big proponent for the team drafting Ryan Tannehill, who is a likely candidate to be drafted by the Dolphins now as his former coach Mike Sherman is handling the offensive coordinator duties in Miami. I don’t think that the Seahawks are totally sold on Flynn, and the team spent basically $15 million more on Flynn than they would have on Tannehill if they picked him at No. 12. (Christian Ponder was drafted 12th overall last year and signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract)
The team’s chances of making the playoffs this year have risen exponentially though. And while earlier in the day I was quoting Arab proverbs describing how Alex Smith to Seattle would help the Seahawks perhaps in his presence in their lineup, but even more in his absence from the 49ers lineup, that hope doesn’t have to end today as Smith is presently visiting Miami, and the 49ers look like a one in three shot to sign Peyton Manning at this point.
First step for Flynn though, if I’m coaching him, is to make sure he recognizes the split-end slant in his playbook, and introduce him to Mike Williams. Throw the god damn ball to Mike Williams Matt!