Blog Entry

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2012 12:25 am
Flynn would allow Cleveland to keep the two first-rounders they'd have to give up to acquire RG3 in the draft. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

In our AFC North free agency preview Wednesday, we mentioned that should Matt Flynn not end up in Miami, the Browns would certainly be interested. This is based on the assumption that Cleveland isn't yet fully committed to Colt McCoy and that Flynn is considered one of the best available free-agent quarterbacks.

On Thursday, Browns general manager Tom Heckert said that Peyton Manning wasn't in the team's future ("probably not the direction we're gonna go") but Flynn, at least according to the Canton Repository's Steve Doerschuk, is definitely an option. Doerschuk writes that "the gates are wide open to signing Matt Flynn next week." And when Heckert was asked if Flynn would be in Ohio for a visit after free agency begins Tuesday afternoon, he offered this:


That's a lot to glean from one long syllable, but Flynn makes a ton of sense.

He's not a physical specimen, nor does he possess a particularly strong arm. But in the right system, his smarts and accuracy are assets. NFL Films' Greg Cosell, who watches more game film than anyone whose not an NFL coach, wrote recently about Flynn's strengths.

"His attributes, based on film breakdown of his two NFL starts, derive from his talent as a timing and rhythm passer who’s decisive with his reads and throws, and has shown good accuracy in the short to intermediate areas. …One thing I liked was his pocket movement. He showed the ability to slide and maintain his downfield focus. That’s a far more important trait than running out of the pocket."'s Pete Prisco was impressed with Flynn's Week 17 performance against the Lions, but he's also wary of trying to draw conclusions based on two meaningful games in four NFL seasons.

"Watching this game would leave me wanting more. And that's the problem, there isn't much more. He has just one other start, in 2010 against the Patriots. He put up good numbers that day, throwing for 251 yards and three touchdowns, but as this Lions game taught us numbers can be deceiving. Signing him to a huge deal is essentially rolling the dice he can be a Super Bowl-quality starter."

Is the risk worth it? It's hard to say, but this much is certain: Flynn will be cheaper than what it will cost the Browns to trade up from No. 4 to No. 2 to take Robert Griffin III. When asked generally about the Browns' plans to draft a quarterback, Heckert was noncommittal:

“We might do it. We’re not saying that’s the case," he said. Heckert also admitted to talking to the Rams, who hold the second-overall selection, but wouldn't classify the discussions as "serious." He called media reports surrounding the team's draft plans "crazy" and suggested the Browns could stay put.

"We feel very comfortable staying at [No.] 4 and getting a good player there, and that could happen," he said. "And we feel comfortable in moving down and getting more picks, we really do. It's way early to start talking about this stuff."

The News-Herald's Jeff Schudal wrote Tuesday that bidding for Flynn is expected to involve Cleveland, Miami and Seattle (though the Seahawks and Dolphins could be caught up in Manning Mania in the coming days). Schudal also notes that Flynn would be cost-effective option to RG3:
"Flynn could cost $40 million or more on a multiyear contract, but the Browns would retain all their draft choices if that is what they choose. Flynn, a seventh-round draft choice from LSU in 2008, would be able to step right in and play in the Browns' West Coast offense because what the Browns run and what the Packers run have roots in Green Bay from the time current Browns president Mike Holmgren was the Packers' head coach from 1992-98."
But on Thursday, attending the same Heckert press conference as Doerschuk, Schudal had a completely different take on the probability Flynn ends up in Cleveland.

"[Heckert] … implied the Browns will not go after Matt Flynn when the Packers quarterback becomes a free agent Tuesday."

"We're not down on Colt McCoy," Heckert added. "I want to make that clear. We talked (in January) about the protection stuff and receivers dropping balls. All that does factor in. If we catch more balls and protect him better can Colt be a lot better? Yes. That's our goal. We still think Colt can play in this league and it's our job to help him out."

Returning to what we wrote in the AFC North free agency preview: after a promising rookie season, McCoy regressed in Year 2, but again, that wasn't entirely his fault. There were allegations that the offense was too predictable, but this is what happens when a second-year quarterback is without his Pro Bowl running back, doesn't have a go-to receiver, and the offense line struggles to keep him upright. McCoy should get an opportunity to compete for the starting job but he likely won't head into training camp with his name atop the depth chart.

Either way, we'll know more come Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

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Since: Mar 9, 2012
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:17 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

I'm hoping that the Browns sit tight and draft Trent Richardson at #4.  Richardson is a rare talent who has size, speed and great hands and can play all three downs, run the ball inside and outside, and contribute in the passing game both as a receiver and as a blocker.  His skillset transalates very well to the west coast offense the Browns run.  I can see him running off tackle behind Joe Thomas for the next 8+ years.  He takes the heat off of Mccoy (or Matt Flynn) and makes every player on the field better.  Best of all, we save all of that ammo that we would have to expend to move up for RG3.  We can address other positions of need in the draft and FA route.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:16 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Kolb and Flynn are perfect comparisons. Both are nameless backup quarterbacks who became media darlings after a few meaningless games at the end of the season. Vick, Hasselbeck, and Cutler were all seasoned starters when they were traded.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:08 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

I also witnessed Aaron Rodgers horrendous first 2 seasons(2005-2007) as a Packer, i actually though he might be bust material. Rodgers also benefited greatly from Mike McCarthys coaching, and in his 1st year as a starter(2008) was pretty impressive. I am not comparing Flynn to Rodgers, but i have seen similiar growth between the two in running a pro offense. Comparing Flynn to Kolb is silly.
I will also say that taking any qb in the first round or at anytime in the draft is a huge risk, RG3 or Luck could be a huge busts or be spectacular, but i am sure both will most likely take 2-3 years to fully ingest a pro offense, with Flynn you would be getting a qb that would start now and be very effective. Not using a high draft pick on him is a huge bonus.

 I just dont get how folks have an opinion on Flynn based only 2 regular season games(Pats, Lions) in which he actually played extremely well. I do go to training camp, i do see preseason games and i do monitor progress of players of my favorite team. From what i have seen, Flynn could walk into the starting lineup this year and with a little offensive help,  could beat the Steelers and Bengals twice this year. I cant say as much for any other qb that the Browns acquire, minus Peyton Manning.    

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:00 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

The QB will make the team a winner!!!!!!  Yeah, who says so?????????   Every coach's dream.  Not so fast Browns; you gotta lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Whatever you do, don't give up those two fabulous draft positions.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:51 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

based on the talents some on the browns should this season, these are HUGE ifs, but...

IF brian pontbriand makes those two snaps and dawson hits the field goals, thats two wins and the browns are 6-10.

IF little makes the catch over the middle against pittsburgh and the team gets a first down, they should have scored a td.  thats another win and they are 7-9.

they lost FOUR other games by 3 points or less.  IF they win ONE of those, they are 8-8.

the qb's job is to put his team in a position to win.  mccoy did that, but others on the team could not do their jobs.

IF all of those things happen and the team's record was 8-8, what would everyone be saying about mccoy???

EXACTLY!!!  he would be the answer at qb.  GIVE HIM PLAYMAKERS AND HE WILL WIN GAMES!!!

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:47 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Browns could turn it around real quick by signing Flynn and hitting on this drafts picks. Flynn is the real deal, the thing about him is that he sees the field real well, is smart and has pocket awareness. His arm is just fine.
 In his 1st training camp as a rookie, Flynn quickly showed he was heads and shoulders above Brian Brohm the Packers second round pick that year by taking the reigns in the huddle and showing a no quit attitude. Players respond to a good field general and that is what Flynn is.
The thing that most people have never seen is how well he has played in training camps under McCarthys guidance. He has taken to the West Coast style offense that McCarthy employs and could walk right into a similiar offense in an instant. He is a plug and play qb right now and would be a great signing by the Browns or Dolphins.

 Just hope the Browns dont waste these valuable draft picks. 

Since: Sep 1, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:40 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Whatever the Browns do, I'm not sure they'll ever get it right. This expansion franchise has been a complete joke since our short sighted civic leaders of the 90's let the real Browns go. And, of course, the Ravens have been mostly excellent ever since they left. Just continue to wonder if we'll ever see a real championship here in the next 50 years. Sad

Since: Aug 2, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:31 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Browns need playmakers, remember when Braylon Edwards, Winslow Jr, Jamal Lewis and Joe Jurevious made Derek Anderson look like a Pro Bowl QB....

I understand Edwards and Winslow arent the greatest characters for a team, but they did have talent, and the browns were 10-6 that year.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:28 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

is any1 else not sold on flynn????? flynn played 1 game that meant nothing and just happend to throw a few TD passes. now this guy is herald as a top NFL QB prospect????? YIKES!

Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:27 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

And thats not a bad decision?  You running the option in Cleveland?  Gonna need more RB's than the 0 you have right now.  Griffin or Flynn, both would be typical Brown choices.  Get some players around McCoy for once and maybe you have something.  This 2 year tryout at QB has to end sometime.

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