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: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:42 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

I am not sure Flynn will be any better than Colt McCoy. Flynn looks like Kevin Kolb 2.0 to me. Some guys benefit greatly from playing in a QB friendly offense. GB & Philly both use a scheme that can make a decent QB look very good. They also have the pieces in place to make a decent QB look good. The Browns may use a similiar scheme to what the Eagles have but they don't have the pieces in place to make a decent QB look good. If I was them I would keep those 2 1st rounders & add a couple of ballers & take my chances in the 2nd round with a Osweiler, Weeden, etc. to compete with McCoy. If it doesn't work out you can always shoot for Barkley next year.

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:40 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

I don't think that Flynn is that much better than McCoy at all. As a matter of fact,they both seem to be about the same except that Flynn might have been in the NFL a little bit longer than McCoy,but McCoy has more playing experience than Flynn because of Cleveland's lack of a proven QB other than McCoy leading the team. Flynn been more of a "clipboard QB" because of playing behind Rodgers. It all depends on if the Browns feel that if RG3 is worth giving up 2 first rounders or not. I gues we'll have to see around the NFL Draft Day.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:30 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Signing him is no different than signing any other F/A or draft pick; NONE of them come with money back guarantees! But, having said that, I will ALSO say that in my own opinion the Browns owner is MUCH more football savvy than that new guy in Miami! At this point, the ONLY kind of contract I'd sign Payton Manning to is a COACHING contract!. He WAS execelleni... IN HIS TIME... but that time is in all probability OVER! Flynn looks to be the right team's future.

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:26 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

The attributes that this article says Matt Flynn has are his decisiveness, accuracy, and his good feel in the pocket. But Flynn was in the Packer's system for 4 years. I have to ask, could McCoy improve with another year in our system and an actual off-season program? I think THAT would make him more decisive, time up his passes better, and he'd be better in the pocket because he'd know who should come open. McCoy was operating behind a banged-up offensive line, had a non-existent running game, and he has a receiving corps that never created separation and led the NFL in drops. As far as being accurate and being a winner, didn't he once complete 77% of his passes in a season and set a record for career wins. And Brees4MVP, it took Brees 4 years to become a good NFL QB. Look it up. 

Since: Nov 26, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:21 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

KLM11 is exactly right.  Signing Matt Flynn will just be one more disastrous decision in Cleveland's long, inglorious sports history.  Get RGIII and be done with it.  Anything else is 10 more years of crap.

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:14 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

If you take out some of the words in this article (like "only two starts") and change some of the history around a bit, I would think you were describing Colt McCoy.  Last year was a disappointment.  Two years ago he was the "savior of the organization" based on many of the attributes that are used to describe Flynn.  I like Flynn.  However, I like Flynn for the same reasons I like Colt McCoy.  He is quick in the pocket, showed short throw accurracy every year but last, and is a known winner.  For those that don't think he is a winner, you are crazy.  
I was at Colt's first start in Pittsburgh a few years ago.  Although they lost the game, there was a ton of promise driving back to NW Ohio.  Before we trade up to get RG3 or sign unproven free-agents, why don't we get Colt another quality (some might say ONE quality) receiver and a Running Back that doesn't miss 8 weeks because of a running nose while he is contemplating becoming a Navy Seal or Black Ops or whatever he is dreaming up.   

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:13 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

you can't make that statement with Flynn sitting on the bench for two years..all you have on Flynn is couple of games and coaching assessment from practice. As far as LSU was concerned,with their defense and running game any SEC QB would have won the national championship. Get McCoy some weapons..Browns haven't had a game breaking receiver in years.(They need a Brayon Edwards without the "stone hands" and attitude..Justin Blackmon,a right tackle and another solid linebacker)

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 8:41 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Colt McCoy vs Matt Flynn? I'll take Colt, and the Browns don't have to sign him to a 40 million + contract to get him....he's already on the roster. Use the 4 pick to bring in Justin Blackmon, and give Colt some actual weapons to see what he can do. up and get RG3, but please do not sign Flynn.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: March 9, 2012 8:24 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Matt Flynn is a winner, plain and simple.  He is a game manager who will not make mistakes.  He also has a penchant for big plays, when needed.  Somebody will have him under center next year, and he will be an upgrade over whoever started for that team this year.  He won the National Championship in the only year he started at LSU.  He has gotten 2 chances to play significantly in the NFL and starred in both.  He won't be Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning right away, but he is better than at least 14-16 starting quarterbacks in the league right now.   

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 7:36 am

Are the Browns interested in Matt Flynn?

Sorry Lotus, gotta disagree with you here.  First, the Pats and Lions were not exactly the epitome of good defenses.  Second, something is definitely lost if you sign Flynn to a ton of guaranteed money and he fails.  Mainly a huge salary cap hit or a benchwarmer making a ton of money.  But, seriously, Flynn looked good because the Packers receiving corps is extremely deep and talented, not because he is necessarily good.

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