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Seahawks snap up Matt Flynn

By Danny O’Neil, The Seattle Times –

SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks’ new quarterback speaks with a Texas drawl, was historically prolific in his only two NFL starts and comes with a Packers pedigree that has worked for Seattle before.

Matt Flynn is coming to Seattle after agreeing to terms on what will be a three-year contract. The Seahawks did not disclose terms other than it was a multiyear deal, but according to ESPN, it has a maximum value of $26 million with $10 million of that guaranteed.

It is believed to be the second-largest contract the Seahawks have ever given a quarterback, topped only by the deal to re-sign Matt Hasselbeck in February 2005. Hasselbeck—like Flynn—was a backup in Green Bay before the Seahawks acquired him in a 2001 trade.

This time, Seattle didn’t have to make a deal for Flynn, but rather, strike a deal with him. Flynn was the top twenty-something quarterback available in free agency this year, someone who entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick by the Packers in 2008 who has been Aaron Rodgers’ backup for four years.

In Flynn’s two career starts, he passed for a total of 731 yards, the second-most of any player in league history. He became an unrestricted free agent last week, and after visiting both the Seahawks and Dolphins he decided to join the Seahawks.

The next question is where he will fit in for Seattle, which returns Tarvaris Jackson, last year’s starter.

“We are really excited to bring Matt in here to compete with Tarvaris,” coach Pete Carroll said in a statement released by the team.

Flynn is the third free-agent quarterback acquired since Carroll took over. The Seahawks signed Charlie Whitehurst to a two-year, $8 million contract in 2010 and Jackson to a similarly sized deal last year.

Carroll wasn’t available for interviews nor was general manager John Schneider. Flynn was back in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday after concluding his visit with the Miami Dolphins over the weekend. The Seahawks are planning to make Flynn available early this week.

What was clear was that Seattle made quite an impression upon him.

“Awesome, that was his word,” said Alvin Flynn, Matt’s father, in a phone interview. “It was awesome. He enjoyed meeting the coaches and getting to know the coaches, and really enjoyed Seattle.”

Flynn had a background with Schneider, who was part of the Packers’ front office when Green Bay drafted him out of LSU in 2008. The Packers also picked Brian Brohm of Louisville that year in the second round, but it was Flynn who won the backup job.

Flynn arrived in Seattle on Thursday night, was at the team’s facility on Friday and was even present for at least part of a retirement party for one of the team’s longtime employees.

From Seattle, Flynn went to Miami, arriving early Saturday morning. With the Dolphins no longer a consideration for Peyton Manning, Miami seemed a likely candidate to make a big bid for Flynn, especially considering that the Dolphins new coach, Joe Philbin, was Flynn’s offensive coordinator in Green Bay the past four years.

Sunday began with the news that Miami was also hosting San Francisco’s Alex Smith for a visit, and by midafternoon, a deal was done with Seattle. Word spread fast. Just not fast enough for his father to hear where his son was headed before he got a phone call from a local sports caster offering him congratulations on Matt’s new deal.

“I said, ‘Well, who did he sign with?’ ” Alvin said.

Seattle, Dad. The Seahawks landed themselves a new quarterback.


Matt Flynn file

Age: 26 Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 225

Family: He’s from Tyler, Texas, which is in the Eastern part of the state about halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, La. He attended Robert E. Lee High School, and committed to LSU as part of the same recruiting class with JaMarcus Russell, future No. 1 overall pick. His father, Alvin, played quarterback at Baylor, 1967-69.

College: Became LSU’s starter after JaMarcus Russell left for the NFL in 2007. Flynn led LSU to the national championship and was named offensive MVP for his performance in the Tigers’ 38-24 victory over Ohio State.

Drafted: A seventh-round draft pick in 2008 by Green Bay, Flynn was the 12th quarterback chosen in the draft and second one picked by the Packers, who chose Brian Brohm of Louisville in the second round. Flynn beat out Brohm for the backup job as a rookie.

Fun fact

In his two NFL regular-season starts, Matt Flynn passed for 731 yards. Carolina’s Cam Newton is the only NFL player who has thrown for more yardage in his first two starts.

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