The great thing about the NFL is that there are so many positions that every year, there is almost always at least one player who has a breakout year on every team, no matter how good or bad the team is. This is one part in a 32 part segment detailing one potential breakout player for the 2012 NFL season on each NFL team. For the Seattle Seahawks, that player is quarterback Matt Flynn.
Matt Flynn was the latest in a line of backup quarterbacks to get a starting job and starting salary based on limited action backing up a proven and experienced starter. He joins a group that includes Matt Hasselbeck, AJ Feeley, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, and Kevin Kolb, among others, over the past decade. Aside from Hasselbeck and Schaub, no one from that group has really had any success, especially not lately, and Flynn, who the Seahawks signed to “compete” to be their starter (although the competition was essentially a formality, that’s just how the Seahawks operate), got a 3 year 19.5 million dollar contract with 10 million guaranteed off of just 2 starts this offseason, the least of anyone in that group, aside from Hasselbeck.
However, like Hasselbeck, Flynn is going from Green Bay, where he played well in limited action behind an elite quarterback, to Seattle, which has Green Bay ties. Seattle traded for Hasselbeck in 2001, giving up a 3rd round pick and a swap of 1st round picks for him and a 7th round pick. Hasselbeck had been selected 3 years earlier by the Packers and Mike Holmgren in the 6th round and he spent 3 years backing up Brett Favre, obviously never seeing a start, and completing 13 of 29 for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns in mop up duties.
Holmgren, then with Seattle, needed a starting quarterback and traded for Hasselbeck, hoping what he had seen of him in practice and limited action on the field in the regular season and Preseason, would translate to the field as a full time starter. It was a big leap of faith, but it worked out as Hasselbeck made 3 Pro-Bowls, a Super Bowl, and took the Seahawks to the playoffs 6 times in 10 seasons. The Seahawks and GM John Schneider, who was with the Packers in 2008 as Director of Football Operations in 2008, when they drafted Matt Flynn in the 7th round, are making a similar leap of faith this offseason.
Flynn only has 2 career starts, but they were both very good starts. In 2010, he started against New England and completed 24 of 37 for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns to 1 interception and in 2011, he started against Detroit and completed 31 of 44 for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns to 1 interception, setting a Green Bay record for passing yards in a game, more than Bart Starr, Brett Favre, or Aaron Rodgers. In his career, he completed 82 of 132 for 1015 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He’s definitely got the upside to become one of the top-15 quarterbacks in the NFL.
If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote). http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/football/commissioner/Registration/Private.aspx?league=55086&password=FanSpot2