Raiders Release Matt Flynn: The Packers Should Bring Him Back All Green Bay Packers All the Time

In a bit of shocking news that shouldn’t surprise anyone (as paradoxical as that sounds), the Oakland Raiders have released Matt Flynn after being demoted to 3rd string after a dismal showing against the Washington Redskins, who Packers fans are quite aware are currently fielding one of the worst defense this year.  The shocking bit is that the Raiders traded for Flynn with the Seahawks this offseason and brought over his $6.5 million guaranteed salary for 2014.  While this might not seem like much for a potential starting quarterback, keep in mind this is the Oakland Raiders, who have been so marred by the salary cap left behind by Al Davis that they literally needed to pinch every penny this year just to stay cap compliant.  So while Flynn’s performance certainly has justified his release, his contract (in context with the Raiders) make him prohibitively expense to let go.

Of course, Matt Flynn is still remembered by Packers fans as the guy with the lumberjack beard who managed to break all sorts of records against the Lions in 2011 and had a pretty good showing against a dominant New England Patriots defense in 2010.  Packers fans will also be quick to point out the disaster of an offseason where Graham Harrell never progressed, BJ Coleman got worse and Vince Young never figured it out.  In the end, the Packers settled on Seneca Wallace, who has experience but is essentially an unknown as he hasn’t appeared on the field.  I’m sure a lot of fans are hoping that the Packers sign back Flynn, bring back some known stability and maybe even resuscitate a career that’s been blown off course.  On the other hand, many fans will be quick to point out that Flynn was unable to beat either Wilson or Pyror despite coming into the season as the starter and in his brief showings with the Seahawks and Raiders looked out of place and unable to lead his team.

Personally, I think signing Flynn would be a good idea but probably not for the reason everyone is thinking about.  In my opinion, back up quarterback performance is a moot point because the Packers are going to be screwed if Aaron Rodgers gets significantly hurt either way.  Flynn might even be worse than Wallace, but the one aspect that I don’t think is talked about nearly enough is Flynn has more rapport with Rodgers than Wallace likely does at this point.  What I mean by that is that a backup quarterback does more than just wait for the starting quarterback to go down; backup quarterbacks mostly help the starting quarterback by breaking down film, studying tendencies, going over game plans and essentially working as a quarterback assistant (you’ll almost always see the backup quarterback with a clipboard and ear piece during the game because they’re charting out plays).  Of course not only are they getting themselves ready, but they are also helping the starting quarterback as well.  In this regard you want a backup quarterback that Aaron Rodgers trusts and does things the same way as he does.  In that regard Matt Flynn is almost definitelt superior to Wallace.  Aaron Rodgers has always been very vocal about his respect and friendship with Flynn and as both Flynn and Rodgers “grew up” under McCarthy and his offensive scheme so both likely see things and go about things the same way.

The last thing to consider is that the Raiders did include offset language in Flynn’s contract, which means any money Flynn receives by signing with another team is money that the Raiders don’t have to pay.  The only reason that this becomes relevant is again with the Packers, who might be the only team interested in Flynn and knowing the relationship between Ted Thompson and Reggie McKenzie, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers were part of the decision to release Flynn.  As a GM, McKenzie must have been looking to trade Flynn before releasing him and the most logical trade partner would be Ted Thompson, who might be the only guy right now willing to take a chance on Flynn; of course Thompson’s not just going to fork over draft picks and that much cap space for a backup quarterback so obviously no trade took place.  However, if Thompson told McKenzie that he would sign Flynn should he hit free agency, then McKenzie knows he will at least recoup some of Flynn’s salary, which mitigates the salary cap hit; assuming Flynn takes a $2-3 million contract McKenzie can recoup 33-50% of Flynn’s salary this year, which is pretty sizable.

Overall, I think signing Flynn would be a good move, again not because he will win games for the Packers but because he will help Aaron Rodgers prepare.  I’m also guessing that Flynn’s release is tied to the Packers as it seems unlikely that Reggie McKenzie would be willing to take the full salary cap hit of releasing Flynn considering Terrell Pyror has been injured and backup Matt McGloin is an undrafted rookie who wasn’t all that impressive in college.  Ted Thompson also has a familiarity and stake in Flynn where as he has no relation to Seneca Wallace.  At the end of the day, no one knows what Ted Thompson is going to do except Ted Thompson, but a lot of things are looking like the return of a prodigal son.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


38 thoughts on “Raiders Release Matt Flynn: The Packers Should Bring Him Back

  1. I like what Seneca Wallace brings to this team. Both Rodgers and McCarthy cite Wallace’s contribution to gameplanning and in-game observations. I don’t see Flynn improving on this scenario, especially since he has not be able to show other teams this kind of value. Plus, I don’t want the Packers to become one of those musical chairs teams. Aside from training camp and injury related turnover we invest in our players and we build a team energy. We don’t want to become the Vikings. Plus, plus Seneca Wallace saves a ton of cap

    1. Flynn wouldn’t cost anymore than Wallace. Both probably fall into the same category as career backups. I don’t expect them to change course on Wallace at this point, but he and Flynn are basically the same player, w/ slightly different skill sets. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other situation.

      1. I’m guessing Flynn would make more than the veteran minimum, but not by much. Quarterbacks have always had an inflated salary and this even extends to backup quarterbacks, hell Josh Freeman got $3 million from the Vikings. Either way, the cap implications of having Wallace or Flynn are minimal at best.

        1. Not QB’s that haven’t panned out w/ the last 2 teams that he’s been on. He won’t get more than the vets min. They won’t get Flynn unless they dump Wallace, it would be one or the other, not both.

  2. TT will not pay above vet minimum for Flynn. I agree with the rapport that Flynn would bring for Rodgers, similar to Pederson to #4. TT will not pay millions. Didn’t TT have a role with Wallace going to Seattle?

    1. Ah, that’s the connection between Wallace and the Packers, good observation. Technically Mike Holmgren drafted Wallace, but Ted Thompson was definitely part of that decision, how much will probably never be known.

  3. Flynn has regressed. I’ve watched him in some of his pre-season action, and he doesnt look comfortable. Pete Carroll took Wilson as a rookie over Flynn. Now, Allen is taking, basically a rookie in Pryor over Flynn. What does that say?

    As for back-up duties, you need a QB who can be ready to play AND help QB1 prepare. Seneca Wallace is more NFL experienced than Flynn, and I dont mind him being the QB2. And if Reggie McKenzie did try to initate a trade with TT, and TT didnt bite, what does that tell you?

    1. It tells me that TT was smarter than to pay $6.5M for a back-up that would likely be released, nothing more, nothing less. After all, it is a TT trademark!

    2. Not much really, McKenzie, Thompson and everyone else in the league knew Flynn’s value was low, especially after Flynn was demoted to 3rd string. In Thompson’s mind, why trade for a player and take on his “huge” salary when you can just wait for the Raiders to release him and potentially sign him for way less? Of course McKenzie made the phone call just to do due diligence but I doubt he was expecting any takers, especially from the Packers who aren’t really in the market for a quarterback.

      To my primary reasoning, I ask you this question: how confident are you of Wallace if he has to step on the field? For me, I would say not at all. I’d also say I would not be confident if Matt Flynn would have to step on the field, so really it’s about the other things a player brings to the table. Just like the Packers are concerned about a running back’s ability to pass block and run routes more than actually running the ball, the Packers are more concerned about their back up quarterbacks helping the starting quarterback more than they are in winning a game or two.

      1. And this is where your assumptions come in. You are assuming…

        1) That the Packers are primarily interested in Flynn’s ability to help Rodgers prepare. I doubt that very much. I mean, nevermind that the Packers don’t seem interested in Flynn AT ALL… But is that what they want out of their backup QB? Don’t think so. Did the Packers bring in Vince Young to see if he could help Rodgers prepare (LOL)? Did the Packers cut Harrell and pick up Wallace because Wallace was a better guy in the meeting room or better at charting plays? Is this why BJ Coleman is on the roster? Frankly, I don’t think this idea makes any sense at all. THEY WANT SOMEONE WHO CAN PLAY.

        2) You are assuming that Flynn would be better than Wallace at helping Rodgers prepare. Why do you think that? How do you know anything about it? Does Flynn have more experience? More football smarts? Does being a swell guy and a friend of Rodgers really make any difference at all?

        1. 1) You are assuming just as much as I am that the Packers are looking for “SOMEONE WHO CAN PLAY” Ultimately, why did they cut Vince Young even though he probably had the best preseason of the bunch? Why did they give Graham Harrell the backup quarterback position last tear even though he had a terrible preseason? Why did they stick with him after the Saints fumble debacle and the ineffectual showing against the Giants? Why do you think Wallace has any more chance of winning a game for the Packers than Young, Harrell or Flynn? My argument is that none of those guys gives the Packers a good shot at winning, so other things have to be considered. Take for example the Packers running backs, everyone knows “SOMEONE WHO CAN RUN THE BALL” is 3rd on the Packers priority list behind pass blocking and pass catching.

          2) Rodgers has said that Flynn helped him a lot in his preparation in his Tuesday’s with Aaron show. Also being a swell guy and friend to Rodgers is an advantage; would you rather work with a guy who was a dick or a friend who you trusted? Flynn has a relationship with Rodgers that I don’t think develops in 5 weeks.

          1. I’m not faulting you for having assumptions, but for having assumptions that seem so self-evidently unfounded. Yes, I myself have assumptions. It is my assumption that the primary purpose of a player is to… y’know, play.

            Why did they cut Vince Young, you ask? Because they thought Wallace could play better.

            Why did they NOT get rid of Harrell last year, you ask? Because they didn’t think they had anyone else who could play better.

            So here’s my question to you… If they KEPT Harrell last year because he was so darn good at helping Rodgers prepare, why then did they cut him this year in bring in a stiff like Wallace?

            (Hint: It’s because the Packers think he can play better. Obviously.)

            PS – If you think the Packers drafted Lacey first to pass block, second to catch passes, and third to run the ball, then you seem to be a smidge delusional. You’ve bought in to Joe Buck and his clichés. They brought in Lacey first and foremost to repeatedly hammer the football into the opponent’s groin one bruising run after another, and … oh yeah, he also has to pass block.

            1. The reason the Packers cut Young was not because Wallace could play better its was because Young had no clue what he was doing and heaven forbid if Young breaks down film for Rodgers. Honestly, I’d even argue that Young might win a couple more games for the Packers just by running around and “rolling the dice” by passing; sure the Packers are going to lose more often than not with that strategy, but if Aaron Rodgers is out for a significant amount of time, you might as well do something crazy and see if it catches the other team of guard (see Dolphins and the wildcat).

              As to why they decided to ditch Harrell, you are right, they thought Wallace could play better; but they also thought Wallace offered something that way younger, more talented free agent quarterbacks did not. Is it experience? Wallace has played games (some of them not well), but so has Mark Sanchez so it’s not like being behind center automatically makes you a quarterback. Hell David Carr has a ton of “experience”. Wallace obviously had more to offer than just experience or talent, so what else could it be? There is more to a player than just what he puts on the field, I’m arguing that it’s more important that you assume.

              Also, I’m not buying into Joe Buck, I’m buying into former running back coach Edgar Bennett, whose said basically as much. As for Lacy he carried the rock 23 times but was on the field for 58, which means 60% of the time Lacy was doing something other than running the ball. Secondly, if Lacy wasn’t a viable option as a receiver and definitely if he wasn’t at least passable as a blocker, he wouldn’t even be on the field in the first place to hammer the football.

              1. OK. Let’s just say we disagree. Young was cut because the Packers didn’t think he could break down game film? Nope, I just don’t believe that, and I’m not going to be convinced. Yes, this is my personal opinion, and my personal opinion says that Young was dreadful in the preseason, and the Packers were confident that Wallace is the better player.

                As for the running back situation, if the primary job of a Green Bay running back were to block in the passing game, the Packers would still be starting Brandon Jackson. And they’d be thrilled.

      2. Well, you’re the one who suggested a trade, so I just pointed it out that TT wouldnt make a trade to obtain a 3rd string QB. Whether Flynn gets released or not, not many GMs are gonna take a 3rd string QB, whose skills have already appeared to have declined. I watched his pre-season in Oakland hoping that he could make it work, but he struggled even with the 2s, when he shoulda been lighting it up.

        How confident am I in Wallace? For me, more than Flynn. I dont think that Flynn brings more to the table than the experienced Wallace does. Wallace has started 21 games and appeared in 63. That is much better than what Flynn has done. I’ll take the experience in Wallace.

  4. The Packers do have a connection to Seneca Wallace–remember that Ted Thompson drafted him in Seattle. I think the biggest issue is that the end of Wallace’s career is approaching. He nearly retired this year, and if he retires after the season the Packers are right where they were at before the season. Flynn, however, could return and hold a clipboard for Rodgers until the Packers can draft a legitimate heir.

    1. Well the Packers are right where they started one way or another, it’s not like they brought Wallace in as a long term backup to Rodgers. Same thing goes with Flynn if they bring him back, neither is likely to be with the team for long. They will draft a quarterback next season, only question is how high.

  5. If the Wallace ‘thinking about retirement’ comment is true, then it might make sense to bring Flynn back, if he hasn’t regressed. To me, the most important aspect of the back up QB is winning some games while the starter misses a few, not who holds the clip board better. MM and TT will make the right decision. Got to admit that I was thinking of Flynn all summer when Harrell , Colman and young were bombing.

    1. Let’s look at this from another perspective. Let’s look at the backup quarterbacks for teams who have a established star quarterback staring

      Broncos: Peyton Manning/Brock Osweiler
      Patriots: Tom Brady/Ryan Mallet
      Saints: Drew Brees/Luke McCown
      Packers: Aaron Rodgers/Seneca Wallace

      How confident do you feel of any of these backup quarterbacks in winning a couple games if the starter were to go out? In my opinion, Mallet and Osweiler have potential but no experience (which they’ll never get sitting behind Manning and Brady) and Wallace and McCown have experience but no more potential. I’d say all 4 teams would be screwed if they lost their starters.

        1. You mean like Seneca Wallace for the Packers against another backup? I’d say Ryan Mallet mostly because he probably has the weakest cast around him, but really it’s pretty much a wash.

  6. If indeed Flynn has regressed so badly maybe it’s because he’s truly one of those “System QBs” everyone likes to talk about, which would make it at least reasonable to consider bringing him back. The problem I have is to some it might appear that McPuffy’s “system’ is suffering too!

    1. It’s hard to take anyone’s opinion seriously when they resort to petty name-calling.

      Just saying…

      1. Chad, you are accurate. Any time someone tries to make a valid argument and they resort to petty insults, it is typically because their argument is weak.
        Enjoy the opinions on this site, many of which I disagree with, which does not bother me. I always prefer when people express their own opinions instead of simply copying others ideas.
        Aren’t most people on this site supposed to be Packers fans? Every blog has its share of low-brows who constantly are making inane comments, but, that is their prerogative. Just a thought, no one on this blog is a GM, right? You have a couple of fans who think they are know-it-all GM’s who actually are probably out-of-work janitors. Some of your people with this attitude need to lighten-up or find a job.

    2. You could make the argument that Flynn is a “system QB” and that his only success was with the Packers, but under that argument, he would be great in that “system” i.e. the Packers system. Also, I would think anyone would regress if they ended up in Oakland right now, they’re offensive line is in shambles and they don’t have many weapons; I know I wouldn’t know a single player if I didn’t play fantasy football.

      1. I would say Flynn IS a system QB. I don’t know the “systems” in Seattle but I think if he stayed in Seattle and they committed to him he could be a decent QB. He just doesn’t have the skills of an elite passer. The Packers KNEW what Flynn was and wasn’t, so they could develop a game plan to suit his strengths and weaknesses. It would take a coaching staff more than just on training camp to get to know him like McCarthy et al, knew Flynn.

        He wasn’t ever going to more than a stop gap QB to tie a franchise over till they found a true “Franchise” QB. Any team that has him as a possible starter would always be looking for something better.

  7. You say that Flynn had a pretty good showing against a “dominant New England Patriots defense in 2010.” The 2010 NE team ranked 25th in total defense and 30th in passing defense. That might not exactly qualify as “dominant.”

    Personally, I don’t think that the Packers had anything at all to do with Flynn’s release, and I wouldn’t be very interested in signing him. Coleman, Flynn – Flynn, Coleman… whatever.

    1. This may be the first of your blogs (marpag)I agree with. New England had a relatively poor overall defense in 2010, which made Flynn look much better than he has proved to be, both in Seattle as well as Oakland. Why would the Packers have anything to do with Flynn’s release from the Raiders? The suggestion lacks any evidence.

  8. Personally I would be happy to see the Packers stick with Wallace as the backup at least until the end of the season, then reassess.

    1. The Packers are going to reassess with with either Wallace or Flynn or any other quarterback at this point. I highly doubt the Packers know their backup quarterback next year and I’m guessing they find on in the draft, maybe a lot higher than in recent year to boot.

  9. TT should stick with Wallace. If they cut him, the Packers would be on the hook for his entire 2013 salary. And, they would get a guy about as good.

    Point 2. It takes two to Tango. Flynn will be looking for the best deal for him. Why pay premium prices for a guy who MAY only be marginally better than Walace.

    Honestly, if Flynn were good, the Raiders and Seahawks would not be taking big cap hits to release him.

  10. Bring Flynn in next summer , if he’s available and cheap, and have him battle it out with Wallace in training camp. Let the best man win the back up QB spot.

    1. (GPDFAN) An interesting suggestion. What if neither man is in camp for the Packers next season? I would suggest this is at least as likely as your thought. Lastly, is our QB on the Practice Squad in the mix for next year?

  11. I think the extensive game experience plus the athleticism that Wallace brings to the table is the reason they will stick with him and not go back to Flynn. Really seems like once the decision is made to move on from any player, TT never really goes back. i.e., when Jenkins made it plain he was going the free market route.

  12. There are as many different approaches to being a successful QB as there are successful QBs. In Flynn’s case, it may largely be a question of his familiarity with an offense – and the time it takes to reach that point. Clearly he was there in the two games he played at GB, one of which he won in record-setting fashion, and the other one (a tough game away against the Patriots) he almost managed to pull off as well, and ended up being lost by the defense. I think that he is a GREAT fit in GB, much better than anywhere else, and I am sure that TT is considering all of the options. It doesn’t look to me like Flynn was a good fit at either Seattle nor Oakland, and it may be due to his not having the time that HE needed to really master what it was that they were doing. Not a “knock” on anyone, but rather an observation about the fact that different people learn at different speeds.

  13. I think there is more upside with Flynn over Wallace, period. Flynn knows the system and has been successful under it, he’s 5 years younger than the 33 yr old Wallace. At this point we’ve not seen Wallace play in McCarthy’s offense, we’ve seen Matt Flynn set records in the same offense. I’d take Flynn every time.

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