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January 24, 2013 at 6:14 AM

Attempting to measure the market for Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn is available.

That seems pretty clear at this point. Seahawks general manager John Schneider has said he would listen to offers so who might be making those offers? Well, that’s something that will take shape in the weeks and months ahead as those teams who want to add a quarterback will measure their options in free agency, the draft and — this year — via trade.

The top three veteran quarterbacks who might be available this offseason are all actually under contract right now: Flynn in Seattle, Alex Smith in San Francisco and Michael Vick, who’s due such a large sum from Philadelphia that plenty wonder if he’ll be cut before the team must pay him a $3 million roster bonus on Feb. 6.

Over the next few days, we’ll take a look at the teams who could be in the market to add a quarterback, a list that will include stops in place like Oakland and Jacksonville, but we start with the three teams in the league who seem most desperate to improve their quarterback situation:

Matt Cassel
Brady Quinn
2013 salary
$7.5 million
Free agent
Signed through
Situation: Andy Reid is now the Chiefs, and he inherits a team that has not had a quarterback it drafted win a start for the team since Todd Blackledge in 1987. So yeah, it has been a while. Cassel seems unlikely to get another go-round as the starter, but there’s not a lot of other options.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: During Reid’s time in Philadelphia, Brad Childress served as his offensive coordinator. When Childress became head coach in Minnesota, he hired Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator. Bevell coached Flynn last year in Seattle. While Flynn has never played for Reid, his background in Green Bay’s offense followed by a year under Darrell Bevell in Seattle means that Flynn and Reid will speak similar dialects of the same West Coast language. By the same token, Reid worked under Mike Holmgren, whose Browns last year had no real interest in Flynn.
Prognosis: Decent. The Chiefs don’t have any prior commitments at the position so it depends entirely on what Reid sees.
Mark Sanchez
Tim Tebow
Greg McElroy
2013 salary
$8.3 million
$2.6 million
Signed through
Situation: The debacle that is the New York Jets is embodied in its mess at quarterback. The Jets went out and acquired Tebow only to have pretty much everybody pretend they didn’t want him. Sanchez lost his starting job by the end of the season, but the Jets are contractually wedded to him to the point that it would cost more against the salary cap to cut him before June 1 than it would to keep him around and pay him $8.25 million to play in 2013. Then there’s McElroy, who looked positively Whitehurst-ian in front of an NFL pass rush in his start. You would think the Jets would have to do something to address the position this offseason, but “Jets” and “think” don’t always go together.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: The Jets hired John Idzik as general manager after he had worked in Seattle’s front office since 2007. Idzik had a role in shaping the very contract the Jets would be acquiring if they traded for Flynn.
Prognosis: Fair. This is more than just a front-office connection, too. Marty Mornhinweg has been hired as the Jets’ offensive coordinator, and he’s from Andy Reid’s coaching tree, which means a quarterback like Flynn might be right up his alley.
Kevin Kolb
Ryan Lindley
John Skelton
2013 salary
$9 million
Signed through
Situation: The Cardinals tried to find a long-term starter at quarterback. They tried really hard in fact whether it was picking Matt Leinart No. 10 overall in the 2006 draft or acquiring Kevin Kolb to a big-budget deal in 2011. Yet in spite of all that, the Cardinals were such an unmitigated mess at quarterback these past few years that it cost Ken Whisenhunt his job. The Cardinals started four different quarterbacks last year, none of them particularly good. Flynn is actually a cheaper option than Kolb.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: No clear tie between new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians and Flynn. In fact, Flynn’s closest connection to the Cardinals might be that they were the opponent for his Seahawks’ debut as he came in to close out Seattle’s 58-0 shutout at CenturyLink Field in December.
Prognosis: Unlikely. There is a commandment in the NFL which states, “Thou shalt not throw a life preserver to a division opponent in danger of drowning due to uncertainty at quarterback.” Really. That’s what it says.

Look for the next trio of potential suitors to be posted on the blog early Thursday afternoon.



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