In 2008 the Green Bay Packers selected Matt Flynn in the 7th round with the 209th overall pick. That year, Flynn competed with Brian Brohm for a second-string roster spot behind Aaron Rodgers, a battle that Flynn won against all odds. Brohm had advantages in size, arm strength, and speed, yet Flynn managed to beat out his fellow rookie for the title of backup quarterback.
Flynn’s first start came December 19th, 2009 against the New England Patriots when Aaron Rodgers was not medically cleared to play. In that outing, Flynn completed 23 of 37 passes for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns. The game came down to the final play when Flynn was sacked on the New England 15-yard line and lost the ball, resulting in a 31-27 loss.
The next time Flynn would see significant action was in a 2012 start after the Packers had already clinched the No. 1 seed. In the final game of the regular season against the Detroit Lions, Flynn threw for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 45-41 victory. Both stats are Green Bay Packers franchise records.
On March 18, 2012, Flynn was given a three-year, 19.5 million dollar contract with $10 million guaranteed, and was expected to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the Seattle Seahawks' starting quarterback job. A month later, the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson in the third round and some time later traded Tarvaris Jackson to the Buffalo Bills. The starting job looked to be Flynn’s for the taking.
Throughout the preseason, Flynn received significantly less playing time than Wilson, and despite his solid 72% completion rating and an 81.6 QBR, he lost the starting job to the rookie. Though Wilson’s preseason statistics were impressive as well, he had more playing time to achieve those numbers, leaving some to wonder if Flynn had vocalized his desire to be the team’s go-to-guy.
This is an interesting situation; with Flynn’s three year deal, he makes approximately $6.5 million a year as a backup quarterback. Obviously, added playing incentives are lost, but the $10 million guaranteed still allows him to earn $3.3 million a year.
I’m shocked that Flynn was bested by a rookie and now sits on the bench as the highest paid backup quarterback in the NFL. Though, if I were Flynn, I’d be perfectly content earning millions of dollars holding a clipboard. He knows he can be the starter, but no one has heard him pout like Vince Young did when he was a backup.
Perhaps Flynn is fine with playing out his days in practice rather than getting crushed on gameday by the likes of Aldon Smith and Chris Long. I think this was Flynn’s master plan-- to play insanely well in his few regular season appearances, earn his payday, and then go stand back on the sideline safe from life-altering injury, to which I say touché, Flynn, touché.