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Tag:Matt Flynn
Posted on: February 18, 2012 1:30 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:31 pm
 

Matt Flynn eager for free agency, chance to start

Flynn loves Green Bay but he also wants to be a starter. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Assuming that Peyton Manning isn't in line for some Mr. Miyagi-style healing in the coming weeks, conventional wisdom is that Packers backup Matt Flynn will be the most sought after quarterback in free agency.

Through no fault of his own, Flynn has drawn comparisons to Kevin Kolb, a former Eagles second-round pick who was traded to the Cardinals prior to the 2011 season for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round pick, and then promptly signed a $63 million extension, including $20 million in guarantees.

Kolb made seven starts during his four years in Philly, but was underwhelming in nine games as Arizona's starter last season.

Flynn, meanwhile, has two career starts and his numbers in those games are astounding: 55 of 81 for 731 yards (67.9 completion percentage), nine touchdowns, two interceptions and eight sacks. By comparison, Kolb's numbers in his seven starts for the Eagles: 148 for 239 (61.9 completion percentage), 10 TDs, 9 INTs, 15 sacks.

Free agency doesn't begin until March 13 and unless the Packers decide to re-sign Flynn before then, there's not much he can do.

"I'm a confident person but the element of the unknown makes you wish March 13 was tomorrow," Flynn said this week according to Sports Illustrated. "I've loved being a Packer, and it's not 100 percent sure I'm leaving Green Bay, but as a competitor and football player, that's what you play the game for -- to be a starter in the league. Hopefully some teams will be interested in me and I can find a good opportunity. I want to lead a team and I'm excited about it. But I can't talk to teams now. I don't know if I'm on their radar. It's going to be a long month leading up to that time -- waiting and wondering."

The Dolphins are the front runners for Flynn's services. Former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is Miami's new head coach and he knows Flynn well. And unlike Kolb's situation in Arizona -- he hadn't worked previously with Ken Whisenhunt and the Cards' offense is nothing like the Eagles' -- Flynn would likely be running a version of the Packers' offense in Miami.

"You can have all the confidence in the world but those two NFL starts were important for me and more important for my teammates, especially the New England game (in 2010)," Flynn said. "After that, they knew if something happened to Aaron, I could keep us competitive."

During a conference call with reporters earlier this week, NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock called Flynn "interesting."

“When you look at the history of quarterbacks that were back-up guys and played a few games and then moved on and got paid a lot of money, there’s been mixed results there," he said. "… The bottom line to me, the league has minimal amount of tape on him and the league didn’t think that highly on him coming out of college.”

That's not to say players can't grow, especially in their first few years in the league (if that was an absolute truth, Tom Brady wouldn't be married to Gisele Bundchen). Still, concerns remain: “Over eight, 10 games when the league has a chance to get tape on Matt Flynn, how effective will he be?” Mayock asked. 

But such issues aren't unusual; the Dolphins are intimately familiar trying to find a franchise quarterback.

(This is quite possibly one of the saddest lists you'll ever see; after Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season, Miami's top passers in the 12 seasons since include Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne and Matt Moore.)

As for those Peyton-to-South Beach rumors that were swirling during Super Bowl week, Flynn's not paying attention.

"I try not to worry about things I can't control so there's no reason to have negative thoughts about that, " he told SI. "My goal is to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and all I can ask for is an opportunity to find a good situation with a team that wants me. And then go there and have success."

For now we wait. Free agency doesn't start for another three weeks.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Sounds like the Patriots want to keep Brian Hoyer

It seems that New England would rather have Hoyer, right, in the No. 2 role, rather than Mallett. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

After so much offseason talk last year about Ryan Mallett, his behavior at the NFL combine, his admitted drug use, whether he blew off pre-draft meetings with teams and how far he would fall in the draft, we haven’t spent much time talking about him during the regular season.

That probably has something to do with the fact he was active for only one game this season as he sat behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer in New England. And while Mallett believes he’s in the perfect situation with the Patriots, the team might not feel he’s ready to handle the weight of being the franchise’s No. 2 quarterback.

That’s the word from the Boston Herald, which writes that two sources say the team will tender Hoyer because the Patriots don’t believe Mallett is quite ready.

Hoyer is a restricted free agent, and if New England tenders him at the first-round compensation level, that would be worth $2.742 million for a one-year deal. As the Herald writes, “it would probably preclude other teams from making a play for Hoyer.”

Mallett, though, might be OK with the arrangement for now.

“It’s been awesome,” he said during the Super Bowl media day. “It’s good for me to sit back and watch and not have to do media stuff all the time and be out in the spotlight. But as a competitor, you want to be on the field and be playing in the game.”

As Green Bay’s Matt Flynn has proven, even if you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, having a backup that can enter a game on short notice and play well is an important need -- and a need that is not overly common in the NFL.

For instance, during Super Bowl XLVI after Tom Brady took a sack from Justin Tuck, it appeared that he might be hurt. Hoyer began warming up, and New England had to be confident enough in Hoyer that he could play immediately and play well.

For now, it’s clear the Patriots don’t feel that way about Mallett.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:00 pm
 

John Beck believes he deserves another chance

Beck

By Josh Katzowitz

You’ve got to love John Beck. Not for the way he plays the game (he did lose the starting quarterback race to Rex Grossman at the start of last year before losing it again in the middle of 2011) or his winning percentage (he’s 0-7 in his career as a starter).

No, you’ve got to love Beck’s confidence because even though he’s been passed over plenty of times before for Grossman and even though the Redskins almost surely will find a new quarterback in the offseason, he still believes he should be Washington’s starter.

"I feel without a doubt I can be a better quarterback. I told our coaches this at the end of the season. I went into coach (Mike) Shanahan's office and said, 'I want to play right now,’” said Beck during an interview with 97.5 The Zone (via Hogs Haven). “This is very frustrating for me to have had my opportunity, to made the most of it when he put me in, I made the most of it, but the games following it didn't go the way we wanted. It's tough for me to say now I'm not playing. I'm like ‘Coach, I want to play because having that experience I know I can play better.’ And he said, ‘I know you can too, but right now we're in this situation. There'll be another opportunity down the road and you just got to make sure you're ready for it.’ So, there's where my mindset is at.”

What to do with Washington's QBs?
Even with Beck’s feelings, the Redskins seemed poised to land a quarterback this offseason. There has been talk that Washington will try to trade with the Rams to land the No. 2 spot in April’s draft so the Redskins (presumably) can take Robert Griffin III, but the problem with that scenario is that the Browns, with the No. 4 pick, also might want to trade up to No. 2.

Plus, in order to tempt St. Louis, the Redskins would have to put together quite a package to move up from the No. 6 spot.

If the draft fails, they could go after Packers free agent quarterback Matt Flynn, who is most likely at the peak of his earning powers based on two outlandishly good performances in the past two seasons. But Washington also has to ask itself this question: is the unknown of Flynn better than the known Grossman and Beck?

Beck, of course, would answer that question with a resounding no.

"I believe there will be another opportunity," Beck said. "When it comes, I have no control over it.”

No matter what he wants to believe, there’s a pretty good chance that Beck’s time will never come again. At least not with the Redskins.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:45 am
 

Report: Fins owner Ross 'infatuated' with Peyton

Peyton's next trip to Miami might look a little different. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The idea of Peyton Manning playing for a team other than the Colts in 2012 seems like a lock after all the back and forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay in Indianapolis this week. One team that's always mentioned as a possible landing spot for Manning is the Miami Dolphins, and over the past two days, the notion of Manning's gotten revved up a little bit.

Latest from the Super Bowl

There's a report Sunday from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, where Jackson writes that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is "infatuated with the idea of signing" Manning.

Adding fuel to the fire is a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Dolphins are on the "short list" of teams that Manning has interest in, if/when he leaves the Colts.

The marriage makes sense: Manning owns a condo in South Beach so he's familiar with the area. The Dolphins have a decent set of weapons headlined by Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush. Miami already has a good defense.

Much still has to unfold with Manning, and the pursuit of No. 18 could potentially blow up in the Dolphins face. Manning could be released as late as March 8; free agency begins on March 13. If Ross and Jeff Ireland chase Manning and fail to get him, Packers backup and would-be free-agency cash cow Matt Flynn could sign elsewhere.

That's not a situation that will make anyone's heart flutter in South Beach.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:10 am
 

Matt Flynn to Miami still would be a risk

Flynn

By Josh Katzowitz

People can’t seem to help but get excited about Packers and soon-to-be free agent quarterback Matt Flynn. Although he’s only started two career games in four seasons, all spent backing up Aaron Rodgers, his time on the field has been productive. Hell, it’s been record-setting, like when he set franchise marks with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns in Green Bay’s Week 17 win vs. the Lions.

Since that performance, the Redskins and Dolphins reportedly have had interest in obtaining his services, and though Miami could very well go after Peyton Manning if the Colts cut him loose, receiver Brandon Marshall reached out to Flynn about making the move to south Florida.

"Obviously, Matt [Moore] had a great year," Marshall said at the Pro Bowl. "You don't want to take anything away from Matt, but I think we really [should] bring in somebody who can compete and make the team better."

That person, in Marshall’s mind, could be Flynn, but there are two things to remember before Miami fans welcome Flynn with a ticker-tape parade in South Beach.

In like Matt Flynn
1) Flynn has taken significant snaps only twice in the past two years. Sure, he performed well in both cases -- he nearly beat the Patriots in 2010 -- but it’s still only two games. That isn’t much of a sample size.

2) Current Dolphins starter Matt Moore had a solid year, taking over for Chad Henne as Miami’s quarterback. Yes, Flynn probably has a more exciting name, though certainly not a better resume, and he has more upside than Moore. But Moore has proven he’s a solid quarterback in the league. We can’t say that yet about Flynn.

But here’s why the Flynn-to-Miami rumblings make sense. New coach Joe Philbin is coming off a strong reign as the Packers offensive coordinator, and though most of us don’t know how Flynn performs on a daily basis at practice, you can be sure Philbin knows exactly what Flynn can do. And if Philbin wants Flynn, how could anybody argue that?

“With Matt Flynn, know what he can’t do, and make sure you build the offense around things he can do,” Lombardi told Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. “Obviously, Joe Philbin knows him.”

Still, that doesn’t mean Flynn isn’t a risk. After all, remember the $63 million contract the Cardinals bestowed on Kevin Kolb last offseason, even though Kolb only had a limited resume? How well did that work out for Arizona?

“I don’t think it’s risky to go get him. I think it’s risky to give him $60 million, or give him $20 million over two years like Kevin Kolb,” Lombardi told the Post. “I think there’s a lot of chance for failure there.”

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:41 am
 

Marshall likes Pro Bowl QBs, talked to Matt Flynn

Marshall would trade all the trophies in the world for a quarterback in Miami. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Brandon Marshall had a monster game at the Pro Bowl, catching six passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns in an MVP performance Sunday night. Considering he had just six touchdowns all of last year, Dolphins fans probably want to know what the difference was.

Well, no defense for one thing. And there's another difference: the guys who were getting Marshall the ball.

"Down in Miami getting a feel for different quarterbacks with having three or four throughout my two years there, the quarterbacks make it easy for me," Marshall said.

Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton had six touchdowns between them, and just 15 incompletions combined. They lit up the scoreboard, as well as the NFC defense en route to 59 points.

They are very good quarterbacks. But Marshall's pretty clearly making a point here: he wants to play with a better quarterback than the group that's on the current Dolphins roster.

Lest you think we're reaching for this based on his comments, we're not. Jeff Darlington of NFL.com reported over the weekend that Marshall reached out to Packers quarterback (and soon-to-be free agent) Matt Flynn and the possibility of him coming to South Beach.

"Hey man, listen, I'm out here at the Pro Bowl, and I'm not getting no balls thrown to me!" Marshall joked to Darlington. "I need a quarterback. You've got Big Ben throwing to [Mike] Wallace, you've got Philip throwing to [Antonio] Gates and Vincent [Jackson], you've got Andy throwing to A.J. [Green]. I'm the only guy out here, man!"

What, you might ask, should happen with Dolphins incumbent quarterback Matt Moore? Well, he's signed for 2012, but Marshall doesn't really seem to care all that much.

"Obviously, Matt [Moore] had a great year," Marshall said. "You don't want to take anything away from Matt, but I think we really bring in somebody who can compete and make the team better."

Moore's not the franchise quarterback the Dolphins and Marshall want. That's OK -- he wasn't supposed to be when they signed him to compete with Chad Henne last year.

But he's also not a punching bag. And it's not really his fault Marshall signed a $50 million extension to stay in Miami even without

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Coaching carousel winners and losers

Flynn is one of the big winners from the coaching carousel. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

The NFL coaching carousel has come to a close with the Buccaneers and Colts the final two teams across the finish line, hiring coaches on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Let's take a look at some of the winners and losers from a hectic offseason. Because if we're not firing out knee-jerk reactions, what's the point?

Winners

Matt Flynn: Flynn was already going to get real paid this offseason. But new Fins coach Joe Philbin was his freaking quarterbacks coach. Yeah, the rumor is the Dolphins like Peyton Manning better than Flynn. (Also a rumor: I like steak better than tofu.) But Flynn knows Philbin's system and he certainly has to be more inclined to sign his ridiculously overpriced free-agent contract with a team employing his old coach and his old system right? Even if he's not, he could end up in a bidding war between Stephen Ross and Dan Snyder. That's like a sandwich made of $100 Bills.

Ryan Grigson
: The new Colts general manager still has a long road ahead, and needs to draft well to really get Indy's latest rebuild rolling. But he's got an owner who's setting him up well: his first two decisions (firing Jim Caldwell, hiring Chuck Pagano) mean that the Colts simply need to hire a competent offensive coordinator to groom their No. 1 overall pick and let their defensive-minded coach get to work on installing his scheme. Sound familiar? It should.

Norv Turner: Turner was certainly on the old hot seat when the season ended and somehow he still has a job. It might be loyalty. It might be Philip Rivers' influence. Or it might just be a miracle. Whatever, Turner was a lock to get fired and somehow stuck around San Diego for at least another year.

Steve Spagnuolo: Spags got canned from the Rams job but landed squarely on his feet when he got the Saints defensive coordinator job. They'll contend for Super Bowls over the next few years and as Wilson pointed out, Drew Brees is secretly his best weapon. It's an ideal spot to reload and wait for another head-coaching gig.

Jeff Fisher: Fisher got the quarterback he wants, the personnel power he wants and a big old pile of money when he chose the Rams over the Dolphins.

Jay Cutler: Mike Martz retired and took his seven-step drops behind a shoddy offensive line and no pretense of having a running game with him.

Atlanta Falcons: No offense to Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder (as well as his superb mustache) but the ATL just got a major assistant upgrade. Ryan maxed out under Mularkey, and Dirk Koetter loves to go vertical -- having Julio Jones and Roddy White make that an easier task than whoever was catching balls with the Jaguars. And Mike Nolan, quite simply, has a fantastic defensive track record.

Cam Newton/Andy Dalton: The two biggest rookie surprises lucked out big time this offseason as their respective offensive coordinators, Rob Chudzinski and Jay Gruden, didn't move on to theoretically greener pastures. Now Newton and Dalton will each get a full offseason to prepare and should look even better in their second year.

Losers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Even if Greg Schiano is "the guy," and there's a significant number of people who think he is not, they bungled this search. (For the record, I kind of like the Schiano hire, but it's risky.) They fired Raheem Morris quickly but were the last team to get a new coach in place. They whiffed -- publicly -- on Chip Kelly. They interviewed a bunch of old dudes -- Brad Childress, Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer -- who now probably feel used. An unimpressive effort all around and indicative of how attractive this job is.

Rob Ryan: Think of all the people who got interviews this offseason. Everyone got an interview. Except Rex's twin brother. Think running his mouth and losing twice to the Giants because his secondary couldn't defend anyone ended up hurting his chances to get a head coaching job? It absolutely did.

Mike Zimmer: Also a dude who can't catch a break. Or interview well? Whatever, Zimmer finally got some heat for coaching jobs (it's been long enough) and couldn't seal the deal on anything. Hopefully he'll get more looks but this has a "flyover" feel to it in terms of how much interest other teams will have in Zimmer going forward.

Brian Schottenheimer: Schottey Jr. might have landed with the Rams, but he'll likely be under heavy scrutiny from fans and could see a short leash, depending on how Fisher's feeling. The worst part is a year ago, he was a hot name for a head-coaching job and instead the Jets ran him off while managing to air out some of their respective greivances with the rest of the dirty laundry.

Mike Sherman: Sherman was the leader in the clubhouse for the Bucs job ... or so we thought. Now he's reportedly headed to run Miami's offense. That could vault him back up to a head-coaching gig, but considering he found out about his firing from Texas A&M at a recruit's house (!), landing an NFL job just a few months later would've been a major coup.

Peyton Manning: Bill Polian's out, Jim Caldwell's out and the Colts seem hell bent on cleaning house. The logical next move appears to be shipping Manning out of town as well.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:58 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 6:14 pm
 

Report: Dolphins would pursue Peyton Manning

The queue for Manning's services starts ... now. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

There's still one game left in the 2011 season, but for the 30 NFL teams who have now moved into the 2012 offseason, the wheels of change are already in motion. Earlier this week, Peyton Manning told the Indianapolis Star that while he has no intentions of retiring he also doesn't know if the Colts will bring him back. It was a shocking admission from the man responsible for two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl title and a 141-67 record (.678 winning percentage) in 13 seasons, including a 3-13 effort as a rookie in 1998.

The queue for Manning's services is already forming. Two weeks ago, CBS Sports' Charley Casserly said the Cardinals could be interested (although it would require some logistical gymnastics). On Wednesday, the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero wrote that the Dolphins will be all-in on Manning, too.

"A team source e-mailed me this afternoon that the priority is Manning. This coincides with news out of Mobile, Ala., where the Senior Bowl is going to be played Saturday. A league source there tells The Herald's Barry Jackson that the Dolphins have shown no interest in Flynn as of yet -- not even informal interest.

"Now, teams are not allowed to show formal interest in soon-to-be free agents at this time. But at those Senior Bowl practices, where agents and team personnel departments mingle on the sideline, it's common for preliminary signs of future interest to be displayed. In fact, it's almost expected."

After the Dolphins hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin last week, conventional wisdom was that Miami would immediately be in the Matt Flynn sweepstakes. Unless the Dolphins front office shares a fantastic poker face, that doesn't appear to be the case.

As Salguero notes, "The club believes a healthy Peyton Manning is simply a better gamble than an unproven Matt Flynn. Flynn is younger and will be cheaper (although not by a lot) but clearly the Dolphins are more drawn to the idea of a proven NFL performer -- despite his advancing age and greater risk of his neck injury resurfacing."

In general, betting that a quarterback in his mid-30s, still recovering from serious injury, and likely on the downside of a Hall of Fame career can resurrect a rudderless franchise is a fool's errand. But the Cardinals caught lightning in a bottle with Kurt Warner and he led them to a Super Bowl. It's not unreasonable to think that Manning could have similar success in the right system. Of course, the tough part is finding where that might be.

But one thing seems more likely with each passing day: the Manning era in Indy could be over. A ridiculous notion six months ago, much less so just six weeks out from when the organization is set to give Manning a $28 million roster bonus.

Whatever happens this spring, one thing is certain: should Manning become available, there will be plenty of quarterback-needy teams lining up for his services.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com