Originally posted on WSU Football Blog  |  Last updated 3/18/12

So in one of the more strange, weird, wacky QB free agency shuffling going on right about now, the Seattle Seahawks may have struck first as the NFL waits for Peyton Manning to make up his mind already.  Peter King, among many, is now reporting that Matt Flynn has agreed to a 3-year, $26 million dollar deal with the Seahawks, but only $10 million of it is guaranteed.  And per King, it's a good deal at a very fair rate at that:

Three years right deal for Flynn and Sea. They have no idea if he'll be 10-yr starter. And if he's very good, he can make big dough in 2 yrs

— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 18, 2012

With so much going on right now, it's borderline-fascinating to see how everything will shuffle around Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, Matt Hasselbeck, Tim Tebow, etc, etc, etc!  Where does Peyton ultimately end up?  There seems to be new momentum behind the 49ers pulling the big upset and landing Peyton, which could be a primary reason why Alex Smith was visiting Miami today.  Or maybe Peyton follows his heart to Tennessee after all, and suddenly you have Matt Hasselbeck cut loose?  Would he head to Miami?  Or what if Alex Smith is miffed with the whole Peyton pursuit, and decides to just up and sign with the Dolphins regardless of what Manning chooses to do!?!  And if the Niners are left without a QB other than Colin Kaepernick, could we see Hasselbeck land in San Fran!?!? 

Crazy times my friends, crazy times!

Personally I am glad that the Hawks got Flynn.  I know, he's only got a couple of games under his belt in the NFL as a starter.  While the stats are pretty promising (9 TD's, 2 INT's in two starts), he is still a gamble.  But hey, sometimes you have to take chances.  It's hard as hell to find a QB for the face of your franchise, know what I mean?  Look at the QB's who came fast and furious off the NFL draft boards last year, as we saw Cam Netwon, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder all gone in the first 12 picks.  And as we have seen with the Hawks as Hasselbeck started to age late in his Seattle career, and Tarvaris was brought on board to take over with middling-at-best success - no QB, and your talk of contending is a non-starter.

But man, one look around the NFL and the most successful teams, and could it be any more clear that it's a QB league??  It's just plain harder to try and compete for a title with a limited-at-best option at QB.  As strong as the Giants were this year, anyone think they win the Super Bowl without Eli?  Or do the Pats even make it without Brady, a team with a breakout star at tight end but lacking a franchise running back, any real burners at WR outside of slot man Wes Welker, and a below-average defense!?  And does Green Bay win the Super Bowl last year without Aaron Rodgers lighting up everyone in sight at the end of the year?  And what do the Saints look like without Drew Brees!?  And wow, WE already know what the Colts looked like without Peyton Manning! 

The point is?  Without a QB, you are limited to what you can do, no matter how much talent you might have around the position!

What do the Hawks have in Flynn?  The book on him is that he's very smart, accurate with the short-to-intermediate stuff, and is very good in the pocket with his ability to sense pressure and get out of trouble.  He doesn't have the 95 MPH fastball that you would hope for from a big time franchise guy, but he can make the west coast offense style throws.  He's been groomed as the backup to Aaron Rodgers in that excellent Green Bay offense, and Mike McCarthy sure knows a thing or two about developing QB's.  Peter King had an excellent write-up on Flynn late last week, prior to his Seattle visit, where he watched film on Flynn and came away more impressed than he thought he would be, so that's a good thing.  And in today's day and age, while he doesn't have the huge arm at least he has accuracy as a strong trait.  If you've ever heard Mike Leach talk about QB's, accuracy and decision making are way higher up the list of desirable qualities for a QB vs. just pure arm strength.  And accuracy is one of the hardest things to learn and/or teach, so if a guy has it you are that much further along.

And if you really want to "go there"?  The last backup QB the Seattle franchise got from Green Bay named Matt, an unproven guy who lacked the big-time arm but was smart and accurate and could move well in the pocket?  Well, that guy worked out OK, didn't he?

I know, I know.  But even Danny O'neill of the Seattle Times did a quick comp of Hasselbeck's situation when he came to Seattle back in the day vs. Flynn's. And while past performance is no guarantee of future success, still, on paper anyway Flynn was more accomplished than anything Hass had done up to the point he arrived:

VITALS Age Height Weight Drafted Overall Hasselbeck, 2001 25 6-4 233 6th round No. 187 Flynn, 2012 26 6-2 225 7th round No. 209
REGULAR SEASON Attempts Comp. Yards TDs INT Passer rating Hasselbeck (1998-'00) 29 13 145 2 0 83.3 Flynn (2008-'11) 132 82 1,015 9 5 92.8
PRESEASON Attempts Comp. Yards TDs INT Passer rating Hasselbeck (1998-'00) 127 79 1,124 14 4 114.4 Flynn (2008-'11) 175 105 1,166 7 3 86

It will be interesting to see how they spin all this in Seahawk-land.  Will they annoint Flynn as the starter from day one, ala Tarvaris last year?  Or do they say Flynn is coming in to compete with T-Jack for the starting gig, and may the best man win?  And you really wonder how this will change their approach on draft day??  Will they make drafting a QB a priority, even with Flynn and Jackson on the roster?  There have been some recent rumors that they really like Brock "6-foot-6" Osweiler (no longer with the middle name of 6-foot-8), and he might be an option in the 2nd round.  But we'll see!  It's going to be verrrrrry interesting how this all plays out, but the first domino at QB has fallen in Matt Flynn to Seattle!


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