The news that the Seahawks have signed QB Matt Flynn to a three-year contract was surprising based on past comments from both Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Both coach and GM said they were confident that Tarvaris Jackson would be the starter in 2012, but they are always looking to upgrade if something becomes available.
Carroll says "always compete" and they certainly did so by signing Flynn. They got a player that could be a franchise quarterback and with salary cap money they had to spare.
If Flynn had not been signed, no doubt the Seahawks would have looked at other options. If nothing panned out they would have continued their public support of Jackson. That's a good business move-to keep Jackson's psyche in tact while you still need him. Jackson however was never going to be a franchise quarterback, which is all but required for Super Bowl admission it seems.
Now that Flynn has signed his name to a $26 million contract, (with $10 million guaranteed), it's obvious the Seahawks privately were not as confident in Jackson.
Pete Carroll released a statement as follow "We are really excited to bring Matt in here to compete with Tarvaris."
So will Flynn actually compete with Jackson or was the door left open out of respect for Jackson and the effort he put out in 2011? The latter.
It's hard to imagine that Flynn would have signed with the Seahawks without reasonable assurances that he would have the starter's job. According to the Associated Press, Flynn had the opportunity to sign with Miami but chose Seattle. Though the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins were not inclined to pay Flynn nearly as much as the Seahawks will.
So is this a real competition Carroll mentions or a faux competition with Flynn actually the starter going into OTAs and into training camp and his job to lose to Jackson?
Can you imagine Flynn carrying the clipboard with Jackson under center Week 1?
That leads to the other unanswered question. Is Flynn the real deal or just the system quarterback on a crazy good Packers offense?
Last season, Flynn threw 6 TDs 1 INT for 480 yards on 31 of 44 completions Week 17 against a decent Detroit Lions defense in place of Aaron Rogers. In 2010 his only other start, Flynn threw 3 TDs with 1 INT against the New England Patriots. Good numbers, and the Packers won both games.
There's no reason to believe he can't do the same Seattle. But there are other issues to ponder as to whether Flynn will succeed. Can the offensive line protect him a tad better than they did Jackson? Will chemistry develop between the receiving corp and Flynn in time, the way it had between Doug Baldwin and Jackson; and can Flynn sync with Sidney Rice as Jackson did.
Flynn's lack of experience is a given. And what we don't know about Flynn seems to be a better prospect than what we didn't see from Jackson in 2011.
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