Packers XLV

Matt Flynn: To Tag Or Not To Tag

Posted January 3rd, 2012 @ 08:01pm

A fun talker has emerged during this week off: would Ted Thompson consider placing the franchise tag on Matt Flynn? It would be audacious. It would be daring. Have we ever used either of these adjectives to describe the Packers' general manager? I think not, which leads me to conclude that it won't happen--as intriguing as it may sound.

It goes something like this: the Pack places the tag on Flynn, guaranteeing him $14.5 million next season, no matter what uniform he's wearing. That's the average of the top five QBs in the league. Let's stop right here for a moment and consider this.

Obviously, Thompson would have to have a trade partner in place before he does this. The possibility that no one offers him what he wants and the team enters next season with both Rodgers and Flynn is absurd. #10 would make some six million more than #12. You'd have a whacked out salary cap situation, with $23 million going to QBs, meaning you can't sign the guys you might want to, like Wells and Finley, among others.

No, there would have to be a wink wink deal in place. Technically, NFL rules say you can't tag a guy and then trade him. But since Bill Belichick and the Patriots did it a few years ago with Matt Cassell, the precedent was set.

But what could the Pack expect to get for Flynn? A number one? Maybe. A one and a three, as some talking heads have predicted? Wow, that would be enticing to anyone. If Flynn does leave via free agency, Green Bay would probably be given the highest compensatory pick allowed, a third round pick at the bottom of that round.

Another thing to remember: if you tag Matt Flynn, you can't tag Jermichael Finley. As maddening as the guy can be on and off the field, slapping the tight end tag on him does not hurt you capwise, and ensures he will be playing for the monster contract next season (of course he wants to be tagged as a wide receiver, rather than a tight end, so this one could get a little ugly).

So you have two choices: let him walk for a compensatory pick or tag him and see if QB-needy teams like Seattle, Miami, Washington or Cleveland decide they'd rather overpay an unproven, yet polished and well-coached fourth-year guy, rather than start over with a rookie.

Ultimately, that's what this whole thing boils down to. If you're a team like the Seahawks or Redskins, are you willing to pay Matt Flynn $14 million to play quarterback next season, based on two career starts? If Flynn is a free agent, his asking price is way below that. I would think those teams would rather take a chance at wooing him on the open market, rather than overpay him and give up prized draft picks to the Packers. Plus, teams have to look at Flynn and what he did and ask whether they can expect anything close to that level of play from him with their own offenses.

My hunch is that Flynn leaves as an unrestricted free agent--I just can't see a team forking over that kind of dough for a guy with two career starts. You're putting your career on the line with a call like that. He is in the business of drafting players and letting his coaches develop them.

After four years in the Packer system, Matt Flynn has earned the opportunity to start somewhere else. Thompson will let him go, and then he'll do what he does every offseason: find a new crop of young players to replace the ones who move on. Not very audacious, but it seems to work rather well.

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Comments (45):

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on January 21st, 2012 at 03:03am

Dave, I agree. Tagging Flynn, and risking all that money, just doesn't sound like a Ted Thompson move. If anything, letting popular players move on and driving the fanbase crazy, is more his style. And even though Flynn has shined in two career starts, other teams are sure to notice that he's shown a propensity to turn the ball over via fumbles and interceptions. Chalk it up to inexperience perhaps. On the Finley front, I'm really starting to wonder if Thompson will let him walk as well. I have a hunch Finley isn't necessarily on McCarthy or Thompson's good side, due to his inconsistent play and, at times, immature attitude.

on January 3rd, 2012 at 02:51pm

Well said Head Cheese. I just hope Flynn ends up in the AFC. I've been saying since preseason that he would start for an NFL team next year. I thought it would be Jacksonville, but Cleveland may be the lucky team. I wish I was his agent.

on January 3rd, 2012 at 04:03pm

NO..NO..NO....You definitely do not tag him. You let him walk and take the compensatory pick. Is Harrell the guy to move up the chart.....maybe.....but an intriguing choice would be drafting Russell Wilson of Wisconsin. He will be available in the middle rounds and he seems to be a TT and MM type of guy.....smart and a good fit for their system. If you can tag Finley as a TE do it...as a wide receiver ....no way. TT and MM besides the draft should try and bring in some solid defensive free agents next year....especially at D line and LB. GO PACK GO !!

on January 3rd, 2012 at 05:27pm

OSSG, Wilson is interesting and a safe guy to pick if you want a carrier back up. I'm not sure, but I thought I heard he was a little short for a pro QB. He seems almost too finished a project for Green Bay, but I like the idea if it is late in the draft. I hear Finley would probably get the number half way in between wide out and tight end if tagged. The question is how do you get him to play for less after he agrees to number. He would be OK trying to get tagged each year or testing the market. As for D help, I hear a lot a people talking about opposite of Clay. I personally want help for BJ and Picket. First Harrell busted, now maybe Neal. It's a bad situation.

on January 4th, 2012 at 08:27am

TAG, TAG, TAG AND MORE TAG... This talk about tagging Finley just won't happen... If you read between the lines of what Packers are saying ( also from what I have heard from my connects in Green Bay) they arent happy with Finley and his I'm more about me then the team... Just read what MM had to say going into the game last week with Finleys out of the blue injury. I strongly believe tagging Flynn would be in the best interest for the Packers. Plus getting a 2nd (maybe 1st if they can get a Oakland thinking team) 7th and a 4th that can raise to a 2nd if he meets requiements....... Be a win win.. across the board...

on January 4th, 2012 at 08:36pm

hey guys, ossg, i agree with u on wilson, i told my biddies that 2 months ago, i like his make up and he is 6' tall same as brees. but the know when to thro thru the defense line. i wish they could resign flynn for 2 years and then trade him, let him know they would try and trade if he really wantewd to help out the packers for all they have done for him. 7th round pick, now he iis going to hit the gold mine. i really think holmgren would want him at clevland, same offense. can't tag him though. as far as 88 goes, if he starts bitching about money and wr or te let him go. i can't stand his me, me, me attitude. he has digressed from 2 years ago.and he may be great someday but, pending his approach to management, i would not tag him, just offer him a contract and see what he does. 1st thing sign wells NOW, i have been saying it for a year now. he is so under appreciated. well dave, it's going to happen, we will get those dam giants, let's hope we can stop the run, eli will throw for 400 but 12 will throw for 440 and 5 td's. they are going to move the ball on us. then let's hope sf can beat the saints. go pack

on January 4th, 2012 at 12:36pm

Well, I suppose one way to look at this is that the organization screwed up big time...in reverse. Flynn worked out TOO well, but I guess if you're going to have a problem at quarterback, this would be a more preferable one to what most other franchises are dealing with (and yes, that includes the Vikings...). I have complete faith in Thompson to come up with a solution to this "issue", and feel confident going into this post season that if the unthinkable happens to Rodgers, the Pack won't be in too rough of a spot.

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on July 30th, 2012 at 06:32pm

Isn't he a FA after next year? So we'll have to tag him with a 2nd rounder, and hope we get it. Or be freocd to pay him a few million to sit the bench if nobody wants to give up a 2nd for him.If someone offers us a 2nd this year, especially a mid to high second, you move him immediately, without hesitation.

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