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The Brewery

A gathering place for sports analysis and opinion with Seattle Times sports columnist Jerry Brewer.

March 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

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Why signing Matt Flynn is a shrewd gamble for the Seahawks

So, the Seahawks have made a commitment (sort of) to a quarterback.

Green Bay backup Matt Flynn is their guy, and they got him for a fair price -- a three-year contract with $10 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.

Do I love Flynn? Not sure. He has only thrown 132 passes in his NFL career. And though Flynn has had two incredible starts, including a 480-yard, six-touchdown performance in the regular-season finale against Detroit last season, the sample size is too small to know for sure if he's a franchise quarterback.

But do I love the Flynn deal? Absolutely. Without question.

The Seahawks just addressed their most significant need with one of the best options available to them. They didn't have to trade major assets to move up in the NFL draft to upgrade at quarterback. They didn't have to spend a ridiculous amount -- call it Kevin Kolb money -- to fill the need, either. Now, $10 million guaranteed is nothing to laugh about. The Seahawks have made a substantial investment, but it's not crippling.

Consider that Arizona traded major assets and signed Kolb to a deal worth $26.5 million guaranteed. If a deal like that doesn't work out (and it's not looking good in Arizona), a franchise is stuck with an overpaid, inadequate player at the most important position in sports.

What the Seahawks have done with Flynn, however, is take a calculated risk. They like him, and because general manager John Schneider is a Green Bay disciple, they know him. The Seahawks were able to attach an accurate value to Flynn, and it appears that they got him for a price in their ballpark. Before free agency started, I thought Flynn might receive double the guarantee from a quarterback-desperate team, but even though Miami was also vying for his services, he didn't get it.

The moderate price tells me that, while Flynn has been a hot name, NFL teams know that he's no guarantee to be a star. At about 6-foot-2, he's a tad shorter than the prototypical quarterback. He doesn't have the strongest arm. And he's not a great athlete. But there's a lot to like about him, too, when it comes to accuracy, leadership potential, football IQ and production in small doses.

Flynn, 26, deserves to be an NFL starting quarterback. And he'll get his chance in Seattle. Tarvaris Jackson will be there to compete with him, but T-Jack is merely serviceable. I'd be shocked if Flynn didn't get the job because he's both pricier and has more upside.

It's possible that Flynn could develop into a player who ranks in the upper half of quarterbacks in the league. He doesn't figure to be on the top shelf of that list, but he could be very good -- and good enough to give a defensive-minded, run-centric team the kind of quarterback play it needs to win close games in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks lost six such games a year ago.

Perhaps the Seahawks are on their way to being much better in that category now. And if Flynn isn't that caliber of quarterback, at least the franchise won't be hamstrung.

Signing Flynn is a shrewd gamble at this reasonable price.

Check the website late tonight or tomorrow for my column on Matt Flynn.


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Why? Because Hasselbeck is in the twilight of his career and is more fragile than a... MORE
Flynn QB'd his college team to the D-1 national championship - that must be worth... MORE
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