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January 24, 2013 at 10:23 AM

The NFL open market and Matt Flynn, part deux

Who wants Matt Flynn?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter isn’t sure anyone does to be a starting quarterback. At least that’s what he said Wednesday on ESPN Radio in an appearance with Mike and Mike.

We ask that question here in a more earnest fashion, trying to outline those teams that might have a desire to add Flynn.

This morning we started out with those three teams most desperate for quarterback help. We continue now with three teams that figure to be looking to upgrade or improve their depth chart at quarterback, but for whom Flynn might not embody a clear-cut path to improvement.


CLEVELAND
Quarterbacks
Brandon Weeden
Colt McCoy
2013 salary
$757,436
$575,000
Signed through
2015
2013
Situation: The Browns have a new coach Rob Chudzinski and a question at quarterback as they’re not ready to commit to Brandon Weeden as the starter going forward. Norv Turner is Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, which is a pretty significant factor going forward. Up until Jim Harbaugh arrived in the NFL, it was Turner who had gotten the most out of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Turner was San Francisco’s offensive coordinator in 2006, the year the 49ers beat the Seahawks twice and Smith seemed to be coming around in his second season. Turner left to coach San Diego after that season, and Smith stumbled his way through the next four seasons until Harbaugh’s arrival in 2011.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: The Browns had a vacancy at quarterback a year ago, and didn’t so much as sniff at Flynn. But that was a different regime with Mike Holmgren as president, Tom Heckert as general manager and Pat Shurmur as coach. The coaching staff has changed, but that doesn’t mean Cleveland will be any more likely to pursue Flynn this time around.
Prognosis: Long shot. If Cleveland’s going to trade for a quarterback, Smith sure seems to be a lot more likely candidate.
JACKSONVILLE
Quarterbacks
Blaine Gabbert
Chad Henne
2013 salary
$1.5 million
$2.6 million
Signed through
2014
2013
Situation: The Jags hired a coach away from Seattle, tabbing Gus Bradley – Seattle’s defensive coordinator the past four years. He — in turn — hired Jedd Fisch as his offensive coordinator. Fisch was Seattle’s quarterbacks coach in 2010 before leaving to join the University of Miami coaching staff. Only the Cardinals and the Chiefs scored fewer points than the Jaguars in 2012. Jacksonville has the combination of platter of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at quarterback, a brand new owner and a general manager who’s already said no to adding Tim Tebow.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: Bradley hasn’t coached Flynn per se, but he’s been around him enough to have some insight into his personality. But Fisch is someone who coached under Jon Gruden, who was the one who oversaw Rich Gannon’s rise to MVP. And Gannon is the comparison plenty of people — including Packers coach Mike McCarthy — have referenced with regard to Flynn.
Prognosis: Fair. The question is whether the new coaching staff would see Flynn as a clear upgrade to the pair of quarterbacks already on hand in Gabbert and Henne. After all, Flynn is going to make more than the two of those players combined.
PHILADELPHIA
Quarterbacks
Michael Vick
Nick Foles
2013 salary
$15.5 million
$500,000
Signed through
2016
2015
Situation: Vick appeared to be on the way out in Philadelphia. At least he did until the Eagles hired Chip Kelly from Oregon, and now there are plenty wondering whether the Eagles might just keep Vick around another year to see how he plays in Kelly’s system. Then again, Vick is scheduled not only to make $15.5 million next season, but he’s due a $3 million roster bonus if he’s on the team on Feb. 6. That’s a ton of dough for a guy who missed nine regular-season games over the past two years and has 30 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions in that time. Foles is an intriguing prospect, but everyone is still wondering just what kind of offense Kelly is going to run, and the hiring of Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator complicates the assumption that it would be a variation of Kelly’s offense at Oregon.
Six degrees of Matt Flynn: Shurmur was coach in Cleveland, which wasn’t all that interested in Flynn a year ago. Then again, Shurmur didn’t have the juice in that franchise to pick a quarterback. But it’s hard to think Kelly’s first crack in the NFL will start by acquiring a quarterback whose strength is timing and anticipation.
Prognosis: Long shot. Even if the Eagles decide to move on from Vick, Flynn doesn’t seem like the most likely candidate to pilot Kelly’s offense.

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