In an offseason where most NFL teams took advantage of the Franchise Tag due to the reduced salary requirements associated with tagged players (thanks to the new CBA), there were a few notable NFL stars who were NOT tagged.
Of particular note are Vincent Jackson who many expect to sign with the Bears and Mario Williams who would have been set to make $22M this season if the Texans had tagged him. Mario is a great player, but no team can afford to tie up $22M in one player who isn’t playing QB.
While unproven, perhaps the most interesting of the players not tagged is soon to be former Green Bay Packer, Matt Flynn. Flynn made noise due to an outstanding game against the Lions in which Aaron Rodgers sat out to avoid potential injury passing for 480 yards and 6 TDs. If tagged, the Packers would have owed Flynn $14M this season (nearly double Aaron Rodger’s base salary of $8M). Aside from the issue of paying your backup QB significantly more than your MVP QB, the Packers have other needs to address with that money.
While most reasonable people see this as a great performance, but a great performance in ONE game, many fans have gone crazy thinking Flynn is the next Tom Brady. While he’s got a long way to go to reach Brady’s level, he did show the potential to function well in the Packer offense. This then draws a clear line to the Miami Dolphins with new Head Coach, Joe Philbin being the Packer’s Offensive Coordinator last season.
There are, of course, the other QB hungry teams that are also mentioned in conjunction with drafting Robert Griffin III. Washington, Cleveland, Seattle to name a few. In the NFL though, it’s just as much about the situation as it is the player sometimes. Even the best player can flounder if put in the wrong franchise with the wrong system, coaches and supporting cast.
Obviously, teams will want to stack the deck as much as possible in order to increase the probability that a guy will succeed. This makes Miami the most reasonable and best possible scenario for both Flynn and his new team as far as I’m concerned.
To add another dynamic, while we’re waiting on several dominoes to fall (Peyton Manning, RGIII, Andrew Luck), Flynn just may be the first domino to fall and could add significant clarity to the madness that is about to ensue.