Should the Seahawks part ways with experienced – and expensive — backup quarterback Matt Flynn? General Manager John Schneider, in a burst of transparency by NFL standards, acknowledged last week that Flynn might be shopped in the coming months since Russell Wilson has practically achieved icon status in this town.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you that we wouldn’t be listening to people,” Schneider told ESPN 710. “I think we all believe he’s a starter in this league, but we structure ourselves in a salary-cap manner where we’re in a very good position with him. Having two quarterbacks like that is pretty special. We’re going to do what’s best for the organization — period.”
The Seahawks signed Flynn from the Green Bay Packers – three years, $26 million — as the presumptive starter in March, but Wilson, taken 75th overall in the April’s third round of the NFL draft, emerged during the preseason.
He won the competition, started the first game and became better as the season progressed. After leading the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and a wild card playoff victory over the Washington Redskins, Wilson is a candidate to win the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Once Wilson got rolling, Flynn never had a chance. He barely got on the field, mopping up in just three games. He came to Seattle with two spectacular career starts in Green Bay, and today still has just two career starts on his resume.
Flynn is scheduled to make $7.25 million next season. Only $2 million of that is guaranteed, but $2 million is still a hefty price to pay a backup quarterback.
The other issue is that Wilson’s adroitness at the read option, not a part of Flynn’s arsenal, might lead Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll to seek a backup who is adept at that mode of attack.
Flynn should generate considerable interest, only because it doesn’t make sense to carry a backup quarterback making Flynn’s money when Wilson is set to make $526,217.
But if the Seahawks do that and replace him with a lesser player, they become more vulnerable in the event of a Wilson injury, as was the case when the Redskins lost Robert Griffin III for up to a year following knee surgery. Against the Seahawks in the playoffs, Griffin aggravated an injury because coach Mike Shanahan was reluctant to pull him and turn over a playoff outcome to another rookie QB, backup Kirk Cousins.