Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Matt Flynn Makes Sense for Seattle

On Sunday, former LSU and Green Bay Packers Backup Quarterback, Matt Flynn agreed to a 3 year contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The deal is for 3 years and 26 million dollars, with ten million dollars guaranteed.

This deal makes sense for both sides on multiple levels. To begin, under 2nd year head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have been one of the only run-first teams in the league - meaning they value and use their running game more as compared to their passing game. Carroll and their 2nd year General Manager, John Schnieder have said for the past two years that they will never jump into making a rash decision on any player, specifically quarterback, due to external pressure (media, fans, etc.). By that same token, both have identified the need to upgrade the quarterback position.

The Seahawks fininshed 7-9 last year after a late surge. Out of their seven opponents they beat, five were against .500 teams including the a road win against the 2011 Super Bowl Champion Giants. Twelve out of their sixteen opponents finished .5oo or better. They have extremely tough home losses against the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers where they were into a position to take the lead with time almost expiring as well as a tough overtime loss week 17 to the Arizona Cardinals. Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns, starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was out with a torn pectoral and Marshawn Lynch, who led the league in rushing after week 8, suffered back spasms during pre-game workouts and was ruled out. The backups performed misreably and the Seahawks lost the away game 6-3.

That all being said, many Seahawks fans and TV analysts put the Seahawks under pressure to find a better starting quarterback due to the enormous potential the team had and at the same time how the quarterback position was holding the team back. Tarvaris Jackson was 0-6 this past season in 4th quarter comeback situations. Jackson was also only metiocre on the season and was terribly inaccurate at times and played very well at other teams highlighting his inconsistency.

Enter Matt Flynn. Keeping with Carroll's and Schnieder's philosophy, The Seahawks did not overpay for a quarterback nor did they rush into the situation. They worked Flynn out during his visit over the weekend. They are only paying him ten million guaranteed over three years for a possible quarterback which is still below average for an NFL starter. For Flynn to make all twenty six million on his contract, he would have to perform well. And if Flynn were to perform that well, the production from the quarterback position would outweigh the contract expenses - which would still be around the mean for an NFL starting quarterback.

John Schnieder knows Matt Flynn pretty well. Before becoming the GM for the Seahawks, he worked in the Packers organization as the Director of Football Operations, therefore knowing Matt Flynn pretty well.

Lastly, as ESPN NFC West Blogger pointed out, Matt Flynn and a 27 year old Matt Hasselbeck eerily share very share many similar qualities. Both quarterbacks were previously drafted and played for the Packers before coming to the Seahawks. Hasslebeck was a year older than Flynn. Both quarterbacks knew high ranking personnel in the Seahawks organization. Holmgren and Carroll were each second year coaches for the Seahawks and each had sub-.500 records.

Hasselbeck and Holmgren would go on to find to exceptional success. Hasslebeck would lead the Seahawks to several division championships, his last in 2010, and one Super Bowl appearance. Hasselbeck would also be named to several Pro Bowls throughout his tenure and would become a fan favorite.

If Matt Flynn could be the next Hasselbeck, or even come pretty close, the acquisition would be considered major success. If Flynn does not pan out, his deal is still relatively cheap and the Seahawks would still have one of the most capable backup quarterbacks in the league.

All in all, the 2012 NFC West race could be one of the best races in the league with the possibility of having three teams advance to the playoffs. With the addition of Matt Flynn to the youngest roster in the league as well a top ten defense, the Seahawks should only improve and could reach twelve or thirteen wins. The Arizona Cardinals were 8-8 last year and should also improve, but their success hinges on John Skelton and Kevin Kolb. Lastly, the 49ers, who were two fair catches away from advancing to the Super Bowl. They made several additions this past off-season and also should only improve. In the end, the East Coast should ready themselves as the NFC West has a chance to be one of the Marquee Divisions in 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment