by Brad Biggs
February 25, 02012
As it should be, the Great Peyton Manning Watch has dominated discussions when it comes to available quarterbacks this offseason.
But it is going to be interesting to track the movement of Matt Flynn, the timely backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay who could be poised to consider some bold contracts when free agency begins. The Packers have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Flynn, but at a cost of $14.4 million with a franchise tag, that probably won’t happen. If the Packers tagged Flynn with the intention of trading him and couldn’t find a partner, they would be stuck paying him that much to hold the clipboard behind Rodgers this season.
So, chances are Flynn will enter the open market on March 13 and it will be interesting to see what is in play for him. He doesn’t have a lot of experience – two NFL starts -- but he has shined when given an opportunity and there won’t be enough quarterbacks to go around for teams even after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III find homes.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy certainly provided a glowing recommendation when he said Flynn is ready to be a starter in the NFL.
“Based on what I see in the everyday classroom, practice field, he’s ready,” McCarthy said, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “It’s his time to play. And you don’t ever know. You don’t ever know if a backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally he’s ready, emotionally he’s definitely ready, but until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. And I think Matt’s ready for that.”
What qualifies Flynn, a former seventh-round pick, to be ready?
“I’ll tell you what, he’s very consistent, the same guy every day,” McCarthy said. “I’m talking about emotionally, mentally and physically. He can make all the throws, does a very good job of running the system. The same game plan that we had in for Aaron Rodgers, we went with the same one with (Flynn’s) opportunities. He has the ability to play the moving phase and the action phase and also drop back and throw the ball on some deep, out-breaking balls. I think he’s very savvy in the pocket and people underestimate his athletic ability. He’s a very good football player when he leaves the pocket.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune