When Peyton Manning first went on the market, there were reports that the Seahawks were ready and willing to open up their wallets to him, but he reportedly didn’t even want to meet with them. Bummer, man. Now he’s said to be signing with the Broncos, although nobody’s put pen to paper yet. I find it kinda funny that after Indy decides to get rid of him and draft a franchise quarterback, Denver is willing to throw its recently-drafted franchise QB under the bus for a few years with Manning at the helm. I could see the Jets doing so to Mark Sanchez, but isn’t benching Tim Tebow like a sin or something? Oh well, it gives him more time to work on his God-awful (heh heh) throwing motion, I suppose–perhaps with the Buffalo Bills, if you believe the Toronto Star.
But before the dust settles, Seattle has made sure that it won’t be left out in the cold by signing Matt Flynn, arguably the second-best free agent QB available, to a three-year deal worth a modest (by NFL starting QB standards) 26-million bucks. If you’re saying “Matt who?” then you obviously weren’t sitting in a dark, dingy sports bar on New Year’s Day when he torched the Lions for 480 yards(!) and 6 TDs(!!!), setting a pair of Green Bay Packers records in the process. I was, and I gotta say, it was pretty impressive. Of course, the Lions secondary is about as flimsy as Greg Oden’s knee ligaments (best number one pick evar!!!), but that’s beside the point. The dude’s in the Green Bay Packers record books, and they’re about as storied a franchise as they come.
Okay, so he carried Aaron Rodgers’ clipboard for four years, but the kid won a national title at LSU, and put up a 92.8 passer rating in his limited action, including that famous performance against Detroit. Signing a backup QB to a big-money contract has proved perilous in the past–just ask Bills fans about Rob Johnson–but it seems to me that Seattle once had some success with a former Green Bay backup, a kid who charted plays for Brett Favre for a couple years, also named Matt. In fact, I’ve got his jersey hanging up in my closet.
Last year, I wasn’t a big fan of Seahawks GM John Schneider. Not offering a new deal to Matt Hasselbeck after he beat the Saints in the playoffs, then scrambling to sign Tavaris “Intersacktion” Jackson as his replacement, doomed Seattle’s season from the start. There were seemingly a couple months where Jackson didn’t match Flynn’s single-game Detroit totals last year, and if the team finished 7-9, it was largely due to Marshawn Lynch and a Pro Bowl secondary. This off-season, however, Schneider did the right thing by giving Lynch a new deal that’ll buy him a whole rainbow of Skittles, then going out and getting the QB the team was missing, without overpaying for him. As Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer points out, he’s getting a lot less guaranteed money that Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel or Matt Schaub got, and a couple of those guys did alright–when they weren’t on IR.
Flynn will certainly have the weapons at his disposal, what with Lynch (and Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson) in the backfield, a pair of deep threats in Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, along with shifty slot receiver Doug Baldwin and big targets in Mike Williams and TE Zach Miller. If these guys are all healthy, he’ll have plenty of decent players to throw to. Throw in a defense that was seventh in points and ninth in yardage allowed last season, and I think we’ll see the Seahawks back in the playoffs in 2012, if the new guy’s even half as good as advertised.