Although it’s hard to imagine Matt Flynn not becoming the Seahawks’ starting quarterback, especially after the club’s $24 million ($10 million guaranteed) deal with the former Green Bay backup, both Flynn and head coach Pete Carroll emphasized Monday there will be an “open competition” for the position once Flynn arrives in Seattle and the team gets back to work.
“It is going to be a competition (with Tarvaris Jackson) and whatever my role is, I just want to make the Seahawks a better football team,” Flynn said during a conference call with reporters who cover the Seahawks. “I’ve always been a very competitive and confident guy and a big believer in competition because it brings out the best in everybody. I’m excited about it and I can’t wait to get started.”
“Right now,” Carroll said, “Tarvaris is well ahead in the open competition because he’s been our starting quarterback. I told Tarvaris that this (the signing of Flynn) will make everybody better. So that’s where it is. I expect T-Jack to be better and I expect Flynn will come in with his guns blazing.”
To underscore the “open competition” between Flynn, 27 in June, and Jackson, 29 in April, Carroll said the Seahawks will still look at quarterbacks in the April 26 NFL draft.
“We’re always looking for a quarterback,” said Carroll. “We don’t have to take a quarterback, because this (Flynn’s signing) does take the pressure off having to take a quarterback. But we’re always looking at that position.”
Flynn, who agreed on a contract with the Seahawks Sunday afternoon, was courted by the Miami Dolphins, now coached by Joe Philbin, a former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay. Flynn said he opted to accept Seattle’s offer following his visit to Seattle last week and after a lot of “soul searching.”
“I really enjoyed my visit to Seattle, the whole organization,” Flynn said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, but I went in there with an open mind. The city and the facilities were great. The vibe I got was that it was a family atmosphere with all the people going in the right direction.
“It just felt very comfortable. I felt like this was a chance to become part of something special, that it was the best fit for me, and would give me the best opportunity to be successful. So I’m excited and ready to come in and work my tail off.”
Flynn came out of Louisiana State in the 2008 draft as the 12th quarterback selected. He spent the four seasons since backing up MVP Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and made two NFL starts, both eye-popping. In the first, near the end of the 2010 season and subbing for a concussed Rodgers., he nearly upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
On Jan. 1, Flynn received his second start when the Packers elected to rest Rodgers before Green Bay launched its playoff run. Flynn responded with one of the more memorable games in modern league history: 480 yards, six touchdowns.
“I learned a lot from Aaron,” Flynn said. I can’t put a price on the time I put in Green Bay. I’ve grown in the last four years and learned a lot about what it takes to be successful in the NFL.”
“We had good background knowledge on Matt,” said Carroll. “We knew what he could bring and what kind of competitor he was. He’s worked very hard and has improved in many ways. He is a better athlete and thrower now than he has ever been.
“Regardless of how it works (for the starting position), Matt is a team guy first and we want him to be a part of what we’re doing. We’re going to have a real good 1-2 punch no matter how works out.”
Flynn, who wore No. 10 in Green Bay, will wear No. 15 with the Seahawks, a number that belonged to wide receiver Doug Baldwin last season.
“I’m going back to my college number,” Flynn said. “Doug called me and offered me the number and said he was happy to do it. I couldn’t wear No. 15 in Green Bay because of Barr Starr (who retired No. 15).”
Flynn said he has not yet spoken with Jackson, but looks forward to it.
“I’ll look forward to working with him,” said Flynn. “I’m sure we’ll make each other get better.”
Flynn is the second outside unrestricted free agent to sign with the Seahawks, following defensive end/tackle Jason Jones, formerly of Tennessee, who signed Saturday. Carroll said the Seahawks are likely not through.
“Jason has unusual quickness for a long, tall guy,” said Carroll. “We are really hoping we can feature him as an inside. He’s got big-play ability and this is a big area for us to improve in. We still have some things we’re working on. We’ve got a number of irons in the fire. We’re just trying to get a couple of more spots filled.
“Now Matt comes in and anybody who joins this team can feel the energy of it. It’s the sense that we’re going somewhere. I think there’s a very good feeling about what we’re trying to put together.”
CARROLL ON MANNING: Carroll disclosed that he had been in Denver last week when the Seahawks attempted unsuccessfully to persuade Peyton Manning to board a private jet and fly to Seattle. “We tried to hook up with him, but it didn’t come together,” Carroll admitted. “We just couldn’t quite get it together.” As for Manning signing with the AFC’s Denver Broncos (instead of NFC rival San Francisco), Carroll said, “I’m glad he’s over there.”
Free Agents Signed
|Feb. 10||*Breno Giacomini||OL||$1.5 million base in 2012, $3 million in 2013|
|March 4||*Marshawn Lynch||RB||4 years, $31 million, $18 million guaranteed|
|March 14||*Red Bryant||EE||5 years, $35 million, $14 million guaranteed|
|March 14||*Heath Farwell||LB||Contrat terms not yet disclosed|
|March 15||*Paul McQuistan||OL||Contract terms not yet disclosed|
|March 16||*Michael Robinson||FB||Signed two-year deal; terms not disclosed|
|March 17||^Jason Jones||DL||Signed one-year deal; terms not disclosed|
|March 18||^Matt Flynn||QB||Signed 3-year $24 million, $10m guaranteed|
|March 23||^Kregg Lumpkin||RB||Terms not disclosed for ex-Buc back|
Free Agents Lost
|March 14||Roy Lewis||CB||Seahawks did not offer one-year tender|
|March 15||John Carlson||TE||5 years, $25 million with Minnesota Vikings|
|March 16||Charlie Whitehurst||QB||Signed 2-year deal with San Diego Chargers|
|March 16||Atari Bigby||S||Signed 2-year deal with San Diego Chargers|
|March 31||Anthony Hargrove||DL||Signed with Green Bay Packers|
*=Own free agent; ^Outside free agent