After his recent come-from-behind victory against the Dallas Cowboys, it's starting to become clear what Matt Flynn can offer as an NFL quarterback.
Flynn possesses below-average arm strength and decision-making that's glacier slow compared to Aaron Rodgers. He avoids pulling the trigger on many throws because he doesn't want to give away a costly turnover, and when he holds onto the football, he's prone to being sacked and fumbling the football.
But Flynn also has an intricate grasp on the Packers' offensive playbook and the utmost respect of his teammates. He has passable accuracy and an ability to direct a no-huddle offense.
The longer he's in Green Bay, the more Mike McCarthy can gear the offense to accentuate Flynn's strengths and mitigate his weaknesses.
How long Flynn remains in Titletown, however, is a matter of conjecture.
It's important to note that Flynn signed just a one-year contract with the Packers and will be a free agent at season's end.
And after the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills all gave up on Flynn in the span of a few months, it's difficult to envision many––if any––teams attempting to bring Flynn in as a starter, and especially not for the $26 million the Seahawks originally offered.
Although, what does have a chance of happening is a team offering an opportunity for Flynn to come in and battle for a starting position or to be a short-term starter while the coaching staff tries to bring a first-round draft choice up to speed.
The Packers could find themselves in a predicament, not wanting to get into a bidding war for a player who they intend to use strictly as a backup.
And amazingly enough, if offered enough money, the Packers could receive a compensatory draft pick for the second time in three years should Flynn sign with another team in the offseason.
But before signing anywhere else, Flynn will have to think long and hard about the situation he'd be leaving behind in Green Bay.
In four games filling in for Rodgers this season, Flynn has directed the Packers to two wins and a tie, all in comeback fashion. That's on top of his record-breaking performance in 2011 when he threw for 480 yards in the regular-season finale and being a member of the Super Bowl XLV team.
Thanks to his accomplishments, there will always be a special place for Flynn in Packers' fans hearts. Years down the road, he'll find an adoring public in Green Bay and perhaps someday, even a spot in the Packers Hall of Fame.
For the right price, there will likely be an opportunity for him to play Doug Pederson to Aaron Rodgers' Brett Favre. Most of Pederson's career was spent playing second-fiddle to Favre for eight seasons in Green Bay with brief stints as a starter in Philadelphia and Cleveland.
What Flynn will have to decide is whether it's worth it to continue chasing the dream of being a starting NFL quarterback in a situation where he truly isn't considered "the man."
In a season which the Packers have been criticized for not coming up with a viable backup to Rodgers entering the season, the Packers will have to give the position serious consideration in the coming months.
It starts with how much money and how many years they'll be willing to offer Flynn, but it also includes the continuing development of Scott Tolzien.
Under contract through the 2014 season, the Packers will have the luxury of Tolzien going through McCarthy's offseason quarterback school, Organized Team Activities, minicamp, training camp and seeing if he's a viable long-term backup.
The Packers probably also won't rule out adding a quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft in a year that's being hailed as featuring a deep quarterback class.
But first it comes down to Flynn. With free agency occurring before the draft, the Packers will have weigh the pros and cons of letting Flynn walk away. And so will Flynn.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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