Should The Packers Bring Back Flynn?
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Oakland Raiders have released Matt Flynn. The former Packers backup quarterback enjoyed great success filling in for Aaron Rodgers during his tenure in Green Bay. Is it a good idea for the Packers to bring him back?
Ever since Flynn left Green Bay as an unrestricted free agent following the 2011 season, the Packers have struggled to find a solid backup quarterback. Graham Harrell figured to be next in line, but he struggled mightily in both the 2012 and 2013 preseasons. 2012 seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman seemed like he had the physical tools to eventually become something, but the Packers gave up on him after only one full year on the practice squad. Vince Young started out well this preseason but faded towards the end and was cut. Right now, the Packers have Seneca Wallace at number two and Scott Tolzien on the practice squad. Tolzien certainly won’t be ready to manage an NFL game in case of an emergency. And while Wallace is familiar with the West Coast Offense, he’s a journeyman in this league for a reason. Why not bring in the guy who is familiar specifically with the Packers’ offense and who has proven to be a legitimate backup behind Rodgers? Remember the New England game in 2010 and the Detroit game in 2011, two of his three career starts? He combined for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 123. I’d say the reward is much higher than the risk.
Flynn did look great in his two starts for the Packers, but his most recent start, which was less than two weeks ago, was more representative of his actual ability. He threw for 227 yards, a touchdown and an interception for a rating of 83.7. Those numbers aren’t awful, but they don’t quite live up to the hype Flynn created when he signed his big free agent deal. He also struggled mightily this preseason. It seems since the league has gotten a decent amount of film on Flynn, they’ve figured out how to stop him. And don’t forget the week before the New England game in 2010, when he had to play at the end of the first half and the entire second at Detroit. His passer rating of 62.5 led the Packers to only three points and their only loss to the Lions in the Mike McCarthy era. An apparent elbow injury also is scaring off potential signers.
I say go for it. Flynn’s production as a backup was far and away better than anyone else’s the Packers have trotted out since. Part of the reason Flynn struggled so much in Oakland was because of the awful offensive line he played behind. Green Bay’s protection would be much better and allow him to make good decisions instead of rushing everything. They Packers would also be able to sign Flynn for a pretty cheap price. Now that Flynn has hit rock bottom, he certainly won’t be demanding any pricy contracts. Even if Flynn can’t perform up to his 2010 and 2011 standards, I don’t see any way he’ll be worse than Seneca Wallace at this point in his career.