Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/6/12
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It would have been a risky move. It would have bent the rules. As the NFL franchise tag deadline expired Monday, it turned out that Packers general manager Ted Thompson was simply not willing to conduct business that way.Instead, Thompson let quarterback Matt Flynn become an unrestricted free agent. Now, the best Green Bay can receive when Flynn signs elsewhere is a compensatory pick in the 2013 draft that will not be better than a third-rounder.Considering that the Philadelphia Eagles landed a second-round pick and former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Arizona Cardinals last offseason in exchange for quarterback Kevin Kolb, a precedent had been set for the type of value the Packers could have received. Though Kolb was not first given the tag by the Eagles prior to the trade, his situation was very similar to Flynn's. Kolb signed a long-term deal with the Cardinals prior to the trade's completion, just as Flynn would have. Kolb had started only seven games in four NFL seasons, while Flynn has started two. But Flynn's two starts were more successful than anything Kolb had ever done in Philadelphia.The biggest risk for Thompson would have been that, if Flynn had been tagged by Green Bay, his 14.4 million salary would have been 6 million more than what starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers is scheduled to earn. That is quite the expensive backup quarterback in the event the Packers had been unable to work a trade after the franchise tag deadline.Whether it was due to lack of interest in Flynn from other teams -- which is highly unlikely -- or Thompson's desire to play within the rules, Green Bay let an asset slip away.Not getting the Packers' franchise tag was music to the ears of Flynn and any team interested in him. Flynn can now be signed by the highest bidder, or he can pick the team that fits his style best. If, for example, the Cleveland Browns were interested in signing Flynn but didn't want to surrender draft picks and players to the Packers in exchange, Cleveland can now just sign Flynn outright.The Packers' decision increased the market for Flynn while allowing other teams to get a possible franchise quarterback for nothing more than the price of a new contract.This is why teams like the Browns, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins are ecstatic about Thompson's decision to pass on using the franchise tag on Flynn.The Dolphins now seem like Flynn's most likely destination. With former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin now the head coach in Miami, the Dolphins are a perfect fit. Miami's top quarterback from 2011 was Matt Moore, who finished the season with 16 touchdown passes, nine interceptions and a 60.5 percent completion rate. But with the Dolphins finishing 6-10 and a new coach running the show, it's likely that Philbin will want his own guy. Flynn was Philbin's guy in Green Bay -- albeit in a backup role to Aaron Rodgers -- and could be his guy now in Miami. But this time, Flynn would be in a starting role. Plus, Flynn knows Philbin's offensive system very well after four years together in Green Bay.Another logical spot for Flynn is Seattle. The Seahawks' top quarterback is Tarvaris Jackson, but his 14-touchdown pass, 13-interception, five-fumble 2011 season left the Seahawks with a 7-9 record and in much need of a quarterback upgrade. It also helps that Seattle's general manager, John Schneider, was the Packers director of football operations until 2010. So he knows Flynn well already.One glance at the Browns' roster would appear they are not as desperate for a quarterback as Seattle and Miami, but Cleveland has made it clear that it wants to move on from Colt McCoy, whether it be in free agency or the draft. McCoy was the Browns' third-round pick just two years ago, but former Packers head coach -- and current Browns team president -- Mike Holmgren had bigger plans than a 4-12 season in 2011. There is talk that Cleveland might attempt to trade up in the draft to select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, but the Browns can get Flynn without having to give up assets in a trade and wouldn't have to work through the growing pains of a rookie quarterback if they signed him.Finally, never discount the Redskins as a possibility in free agency. Team owner Dan Snyder isn't afraid to spend money in an effort to improve the team's roster and could pull the trigger on a big contract for Flynn. After battling through most of 2011 with Rex Grossman at quarterback, it makes sense that the Redskins will be looking to upgrade. Grossman couldn't even keep the starting job last season, losing out to John Beck. Flynn should have no problem surpassing Grossman's 16-touchdown pass, 20-interception 2011 season numbers.Even though Flynn slipped to the seventh round of the 2008 draft, he has had plenty of success as a starting quarterback. In his senior year at LSU, Flynn led his LSU team to a victory in the BCS National Championship game against Ohio State in which he was named the offensive MVP.While Flynn did win a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 2011, he did not play in the game. In fact, Flynn has never thrown a pass in a playoff game. That is, of course, due to playing behind the NFL's 2011 Most Valuable Player.But in one of Flynn's two NFL starts, he had a record-breaking performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 17 of this past season. In that game, Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns and became Green Bay's all-time single-game leader in both of those categories. That was a better statistical game than Rodgers or Brett Favre ever accomplished.Even as a rookie, Flynn was performing well above his status as the 209th overall pick. In training camp, he beat out fellow rookie -- and second-round pick -- Brian Brohm to be No. 2 on the Packers' depth chart.Whichever team does land Flynn once free agency begins on March 13 will be getting a young, talented quarterback who appears to have the talent to turn around any franchise.Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

White Sox trade Adam Eaton to Nationals for haul of impressive prospects

Looking at NFL injuries that could impact the Super Bowl chase

Report: RG3 to start Sunday barring health setback

Major changes could be coming to the World Cup in 2026

Peterson planning to return if Vikings stay in playoff hunt

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Desmond’s deal with Rockies is puzzling, opens door for trades

Report: ‘Well has been poisoned’ for Lane Kiffin as USF candidate

Johnny Manziel tells Lamar Jackson not to go to Browns

NCAA president on Penn State: ‘How could you not be pleased?’

Chris Bosh likely to wait until next season to try comeback

Report: Jackson ‘intrigued’ by possible Eagles reunion

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Box Score 12/6: Klay Thompson and the ball of fire

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker