It's been 12 years since the Seahawks acquired a backup quarterback from Green Bay named Matt. You may have heard of him--he became the face of the franchise and led the team to their first Super Bowl appearance, only to be robbed the offici...nevermind. That's all in the past. The past, though, has a funny way of repeating itself. Here we are, 12 years later, again kicking the tires on a backup QB from Green Bay named Matt. John Schneider (because I know you read Field Gulls FanPosts), sign Matt Flynn now.
First off, if you haven't read Thomas's 17 part series on Matt Flynn, I implore you to do so. If I knew how to post links, I'd do that here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Go ahead, count them! Long way to go for a joke, I know. Though I'm not usually a fan of screencap breakdown articles, I found these interesting and informative.
Flynn's shortcomings are well-known: limited arm strength, low ceiling, lack of experience, financial risk required to sign him (see Kevin Kolb), etc. His strengths are also well-known: he's not Tavaris Jackson. Actually, may I say that I don't hate Tavaris Jackson. What I think is fair to say, though, is that he is not the long-term answer. Furthermore, it is unlikely that we sign him to anything more than a backup role after his contract expires at the end of next season. Operating from this point of view, which I think is one that is shared by most fans, it makes sense to sign Flynn.
There is risk of signing Flynn. At his worst, how much worse can he be than Tavaris (again, Tavaris had an OK year). His floor is about Jackson's current level of performance, I believe, at absolute worst. What is his upside? A best case Matt Flynn scenario is that he turns into Drew Brees (granted, a weaker armed version thereof). Barring this miracle, I can see Matt Flynn turning into a quarterback that is very similar to Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawk offense seems to play largely to Flynn's strengths--decent mobility, accuracy, and ability to read a defense. So, we get a player who has the chance (even a 10% chance, conservatively) of being THE answer at QB, with almost no downside, skillwise.
The big downside, and the thing that most people have issue with, is the cost it will likely take to acquire Flynn. I have no knowledge of his current value, but there is speculation that his value is depressed due to the QB shuffle recently. I don't think that this will drive his price down too much, but will likely make it easier to sign him to a team friendly deal.
The Seahawks currently have a little over $5 million committed to the QB position next year (Jackson's 4.75 million plus Portis). Without looking this up, this has to be the least of any team in the NFL (bottom few if not). By not signing Mario Williams or Peyton Manning, we would appear to have the cap room to add a QB and the need for another QB.
Let's say the 'Hawks could sign Flynn for 5 years and $40 million with $16 million guaranteed (I don't know if this is even ballpark--just a guess). We could frontload the money (like the Red Bryant contract) and make it so the risk is greatly minimized of doing any damage long-term. Furthermore, according to all reports, the cap will increase greatly when the new TV deal hits in 2014. A contract of this nature could be a bargain for a QB by then. If it doesn't work out, we can cut bait and have plenty of money available to explore other options (gulp).
Many people argue against Flynn because we would then potentially limit our ability to draft other QB's. Knowing what we do about Schneider, I think it would be quite likely that the Seahawks would still draft a QB high in either of the next two drafts. They could cut Jackson, saving $4 million, and draft Osweiller, Cousins, or Wilson. Our total cap commitment to QB's in this instance would still be only around $10 million (or less than Mark Sanchez). They could also ride out Jackson's contract and draft a QB in either of the next two drafts. The point: signing Flynn does not prevent the Seahawks from drafting a QB. It is quite likely they would still do so.
So, Mr. Schneider, power up your Delorean, turn on the flux capacitor, find 1.21 gigawatts of energy, and set your time machine for March 2, 2001. Let's let history repeat itself. Sign Matt Flynn. Now.