If you’re wondering why Seattle Seahawks fans are so excited about the signing of Matt Flynn, pay very close attention.
Jim Zorn, Steve Myer, Dave Krieg, Jeff Kemp, Kelly Stouffer, Stan Gelbaugh, Dan McGwire, Rick Mirer, John Freisz, Warren Moon, John Kitna, Glenn Foley, Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Dilfer, Seneca Wallace, Charlie Frye, Charlie Whitehurst, and Tavaris Jackson.
These are the names of every starting quarterback in the history of the Seattle Seahawks. Warren Moon is a Hall of Famer, but his two seasons with Seattle were at the tail end of his career. Matt Hasselbeck went to the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, but he was never more than a top-8 quarterback at any point of his career. I honestly believe Trent Dilfer is the most talented name on this list. Unfortunately, the talent I’m refering to is that of being an NFL analyst, not an NFL quarterback.
Needless to say, the Seahawks franchise has had very little luck with the quarterback position.
On Sunday, Seattle added another name to this unimpressive list by signing free-agent Matt Flynn to a three-year contract worth $26 million. Flynn, entering his fifth NFL season, will “compete” with Tavaris Jackson for the starting position in the 2012 season. I say “compete” with quotation marks for two reasons. 1) You don’t sign and pay a guaranteed $10 million to the second-most sought after quarterback on the free-agent market unless you intend on starting him. And 2) I’ve seen Tavaris Jackson play the quarterback position. Yikes.
Flynn was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft. During his four seasons as a professional, he has started only two games. During his five seasons at LSU, he was the starter for only one season. You may be asking yourself, “why would the Seahawks be willing to pay a guy with one season and two games worth of experience $26 million dollars to play football?” Well, I’ll tell you why. He just so happened to lead LSU to a BCS Championship win during the one season he started, and those two NFL starts were pretty damn impressive. In fact, one of those NFL starts was the single greatest game any quarterback in the history of the Green Bay Packers has ever had. Ever. Better than Starr, better than Favre, and better than Rodgers. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.
Now, before we prematurely name Flynn the greatest quarterback in Seattle Seahawks history, let’s pump the breaks for a minute. First, the LSU team he lead to the National Championship was an experienced squad with a considerable amount of talent. They lost two games that season, but both were in triple-overtime. They were the best team in the best conference that season and had NFL talent on both sides of the football. The started the season ranked #2 in the polls, and ended the season ranked #1. I’m not taking anything away from Flynn’s accomplishments, I’m just stating facts.
And those two NFL games he’s started in? He started those games for the Green Bay Packers, a team that has been stacked on the offensive side of the football since 1996. Both starts were at home, one resulted in a loss, and the statistically historic other start was against a Detroit Lions team with a well-below average secondary in a meaningless game that was played after Green Bay had already locked up the top seed in the NFC playoffs. I’m not taking anything away from Flynn’s accomplisments, I’m just stating facts.
Many Seattle fans have voiced their excitement for the Matt Flynn era to begin, and as a life-long Seahawks fan who has witnessed the last 20 seasons first-hand, I’m pretty excited myself. But my excitement isn’t caused by the talent of Matt Flynn, it’s caused by knowing I won’t have to watch Tavaris Jackson next season. This is very exciting. Trust me.
Again, I am a huge Seahawks fan. No one will be rooting harder for Matt Flynn come September than I will. I’m hoping against all hope that this is the start of a fantastic career by a fantastic quarterback. However, I won’t be betting on it. The Seahawks, who are coming off of back-to-back seasons of posting a 7-9 record, still have quite a bit of front office work to do. Who knows what will happen in the upcoming draft, but the offensive line, wide receiver, and cornerback positions are all ones that Seattle needs to significantly upgrade before they can realistically expect to compete against top-tier teams in the NFL. They also need to find a way to get rid of the injury bug they’ve been plauged with for the last three seasons. Bottom line, bringing in a quarterback with two games of NFL experience may be a start, but it’s most certainly not a finish.
Despite these concerns being very real and valid, the biggest source of doubt I have with Matt Flynn isn’t the fact he was drafted in the seventh round a mere six months after winning a National Championship. It’s not the fact that he has only two games of NFL experience under his belt. My biggest source of doubt is this: Matt Flynn was JaMarcus Russell’s backup in college. Yes, that JaMarcus Russell. The Seattle Seahawks just agreed to pay $26 million dollars – $10 million of which is guaranteed – to a guy who played second fiddle to JaMarcus Russell. Twenty-six million dollars to a guy who, just five years ago, was considered to be less talented than JaMarcus Russell. $26 million dollars! Man, that’s a lot of codeine syrup. (LSU-Purple Drank!)
According to the NFL record books, Matt Flynn had the greatest statistical game in the history of Green Bay Packers quarterbacks. Nothing would make me happier than for Matt Flynn to end up being the greatest quarterback in the history of the Seattle Seahawks. But if you remember back to that list of names you read a few minutes ago, that feat shouldn’t be too hard for him to accomplish. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna try to find some LSU-Purple Drank. I have a feeling I’ll need it to get me through this upcoming season.
You can contact Sean Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org