Matt Flynn, the Seahawks, and the NFL Rumor Mill

Free agent QB Matt Flynn seems to be a lightning rod when it comes to sparking conversation among not only Seahawks faithful, but all NFL fans these days. It's no surprise, given the number of teams reportedly seeking a QB this offseason, that a player like Flynn conjures up such strong opinions and generates so much discussion.

Earlier in the week, I tweeted that the Seattle Seahawks had no interest in pursuing Matt Flynn. That news received mixed reaction. Some 12's were delighted by it. Others were disappointed that the front office is in some way missing the boat on Flynn. And then there were the skeptics. "How do you know? I'm not buying it. Why isn't anyone else reporting this?", etc. That can be expected.

Now, Thursday, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers went on ESPN Radio in Milwaukee and said, among other things, this about Flynn's potential landing spot:

So, I think you have to look at Miami obviously, Seattle. John Schneider knows Matt and he's pulling some strings up there with them.

I was immediately bombarded with tweets by 12's addressing this contradicting report. So, I wanted elaborate a little bit on the info I received, and also talk a little bit about the how the NFL media rumor mill works for those who aren't familiar with things "behind the curtain", because it's not something written about too often.

I'm not writing this to be pretentious or to stroke my own ego, so hopefully that's not the impression you get. Danny, Davis, and those around here who know me personally, will tell you how far that is from the truth. But if you're interested in this whole Matt Flynn situation you can read more after the jump.

Although I have addressed this question a few times this week, I think it's worth being addressed again. "Where did you get your info and why isn't anyone else reporting this? It sounds like nothing more than an educated guess." That's an understandable reaction and it's all part of the deal. I don't write here enough (yet) for most of you guys/gals to know me well, (especially if you aren't on Twitter, where I interact with a lot of 12's), as most of my time is invested in covering the USC and the Pac-12.

So, for reference, my info on Flynn came directly from people within the Seahawks organization. As I have shared before, I have personal relationships with members of this coaching staff and front office and through these relationships I become aware of some things going on in the organization, much of which goes unreported. The things I share in reports and stories are selective things I feel comfortable sharing/reporting.

Of course, people want names, they want more details. Unfortunately that's all I can tell you. All I can really say is that I am not gonna share something on twitter or on this site that is an unfounded rumor, and I do realize maybe that wasn't so clear earlier to some.

Ok, so the next question I've usually heard is, "Fine, then who do the Seahawks plan on acquiring as their quarterback?" Simply put, I don't know.

I do know that there is a lot of interest in Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins. I pointed this out last week and it is now well documented by many outlets after the Seahawks spent time with Cousins after Senior Bowl practices. But, nothing that was expressed to me divulged a concrete answer about specific plans. Which is why I never shared anything beyond the lack of interest in Flynn.

And I do know that the Seahawks will likely be tied to, talk to and evaluate thoroughly every QB on the market. So when reports of the Seahawks being interested in a prospect you don't like start to circulate, keep calm, it's all part of the process... maybe. More on that later.

So now, here we are a few days later, and Aaron Rodgers is "reporting" that Seahawks GM John Schneider is "pulling strings" to get Matt Flynn in Seattle.

"Wouldn't Aaron Rodgers know better than you where Flynn is going?"

That's up for you to decide. I don't know how often Flynn and Schneider have Skype dates. I just know what I was told. But, let's pull the curtain back a little bit. Some of this (perhaps all of it) you already know, some of it might be something you're hearing for the first time. Hopefully it's informative to someone, because that's really my only goal.

This time of year is FULL of lies and misdirection, and it's by design. Not just by teams, but by players, and agents too. For whatever reason, there were many reports in the '10 draft that the Seahawks were highly interested in Jimmy Clausen and that turned out to be completely false. Not sure where that started or how it made the rounds but that's just one example. Another example would be a rumor like we're hearing these days - "John Schneider is pulling strings to get Matt Flynn to Seattle," and this could have many origins, depending on who is saying it.

The most common people who plant information are agents. That's where Schefter, Mort, and the like get most of their stuff. Sometimes the agent is being honest, other times the agent is trying to generate interest in his client.

ie: "Crap, people are starting to waver on liking my client Matt Flynn, so I need to plant some rumors that teams are seriously interested him so a bidding war will start, thus getting my client and me more money." --- or something along those lines.

Sometimes players will talk up their free agent teammates too. Maybe that's the case here. But I can't say definitively.

Franchises are equally as guilty this time of year of the smoke and mirrors. This is pretty well known, but for some reason, we all seem to forget it happens. Teams seek to protect their own interests. If the Seahawks only talked to defensive ends at the Senior Bowl, and I was a team drafting behind the Seahawks who just so happened to need a DE, I might look to move ahead of them in the draft so they couldn't take the player I want.

It would all be too obvious wouldn't it? No team would ever be dumb enough to play their hand like that.

Unless of course a team couldn't find a trade partner and they were looking to trade down, or you wanted to try and force a team's hand to not take a player that you want so you decide to play that hand on purpose. In that case you'd try to manipulate a team to trade in front of you. A prime example of this is when Denver traded back in to the first round to get Tim Tebow in the 2010 NFL Draft due to fears another team would take him.

This is starting to get long winded, and I am a fat kid. It doesn't get pretty when I get the whole fat-kid-weezing thing going on.

But the point is this: There will be lots of rumors we hear in the next couple of months. Some will be true, some will be agenda-driven, and some will just be wrong. All I can do is report on the things I believe to be legitimate.

Hopefully this was somewhat informative to you.

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