The Minnesota Vikings certainly came out of nowhere in 2012, going 10-6 and earning a playoff spot just one season after going 3-13. But there are still questions about quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Joe Webb. Their performances during their playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers when Ponder was injured exposed the need to add a more capable backup quarterback during the coming offseason.
Among the names that may be available is Matt Flynn of the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle signed Flynn to a three-year, $19.5 million contract last offseason, but he was beaten out by Russell Wilson for the starting job during the preseason and only attempted nine passes all season. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has already suggested Flynn could be moved, citing a desire to have a backup quarterback with a skill set more similar to Wilson’s.
Flynn’s NFL resume is not extensive, with just two starts and 141 total pass attempts over five seasons. Spending the first four years of his career as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay certainly limited his opportunities. However, he performed well when given the chance to start against the New England Patriots in 2010 and the Detroit Lions in 2011, completing nearly 68 percent of his passes (55-for-81) with nine touchdown passes and 731 passing yards in those two contests.
If Flynn is indeed made available, there should be plenty of teams that need a quarterback interested in him. Adding him via trade would not bring a huge financial burden, since just $2 million of the $5.25 million in base salary he is slated to make next season is guaranteed. Of course the Seahawks could simply cut Flynn due to the lack of major financial repercussions, which would open the door for interested teams to name their price without having to give up a draft pick to acquire him.
Flynn’s skills, in the brief glimpse that has been seen, seem to make him a good fit for the Vikings’ offense. Minnesota is clearly committed to Ponder as their starting quarterback heading into the 2013 season, but an injury or decidedly poor performance from him early in the season could require a change in direction. If nothing else, adding Flynn would put the Vikings in a better position to maintain their progress from 2012 if that worst-case scenario comes.