Flynn joins Seattle after having served as a backup with the Packers for four years, following essentially the same path to a starting position that Hasselbeck did before leading Seattle for several years. The only difference is that the Seahawks had to trade for Hasselebeck whereas Flynn has joined the team as an unrestricted free agent.
Reports indicate that Flynn will sign a three-year, $26-million with $10-million in guarantees.
It was expected that Flynn would be a hot commodity as a free agent but the market for his services never really materialized. Flynn ended up choosing Seattle over Miami, where he would have joined former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, entering his first season as the Dolphins head coach.
Seattle is taking the chance that Flynn’s impressive performances in his two career starts will translate into solid production leading the Seahawks offense. The Flynn-led Packers nearly upset the Patriots in 2010 and he broke the Packers record for passing yards in a game during his Week 17 480-yard, six-touchdown performance against Detroit this season.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll stated that Flynn would compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting quarterback position but it is expected that Flynn will lead the Seahawks offense in 2012.
Will the Seahawks once again strike gold with a former Packers backup? Or will Flynn flop much like Kevin Kolb did in Arizona last season?
While Kolb was a checkdown king in his first year as a starter, Flynn has shown a willingness to throw the deep ball so it isn’t likely that defenses will be able to clamp down on him they were they were able to with Kolb at the controls of the Arizona offense.
That being said, Flynn doesn’t possess an outstanding skill set. He has shown solid decision-making skills and accuracy but he lacks arm strength on deep passes.
In Green Bay, he looked good playing with the league’s most feared group of pass catching wide receivers and tight ends that the league has to offer.
In Seattle, he will play with injury-prone wide receiver Sidney Rice, 2011 free agent tight end bust Zach Miller and whoever wins out at the wide receiver position opposite Rice. That’s not just a step down in offensive weaponry; it’s a flight or two stairs going in the wrong direction.
Of course, Rice could revert back to his 2009 form, when he topped 1,300 receiving yards while scoring eight touchdowns. Likewise, Miller could become the receiving threat he was in Oakland and again top 60 receptions. And Mike Williams could rebound from his poor showing last season and youngsters such as Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Deon Butler could step to the forefront and become consistent playmakers.
The key theme there is “could”, not “should”.
Seattle’s solid rushing attack, led by Marshawn Lynch, figures to relieve some of the pressure Flynn will be under during his first year as a starting quarterback. Carroll has shown a propensity for running the ball and there is a strong likelihood that he will feature Lynch, the team’s top offensive threat last season, once again in 2012.
With so much uncertainty in his supporting cast and his lack of natural athletic ability, Flynn needs to morph into Drew Brees to become a fantasy starter in 2012. Consider him a low-end fantasy backup.
Move Rice into the WR2 category, albeit at the low end, and Lynch’s status as a top 10 fantasy running back remains unchanged.
As for the Seahawks other offensive weapons, monitor their production in training camp and act accordingly.