QB Matt Dilemma: Flynn May Stay with the Seahawks, Cassel to Be Shopped Around

By Debbie B.

Now that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has found a new home, some attention has now been diverted to the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn. On Thursday, the team said it would not be releasing him but well, things can change.

Then there’s Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel. Now that his has fate has been sealed, he needs a new team. What about the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings or the New York Jets?

Seahawks to keep Flynn

Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn

For a player determined to be an NFL-starting quarterack, somehow Flynn seems destined to be a backup.

On Thursday, NFL.com reported that the Seahawks did not plan to cut the player but instead sees it as a “priority” is to keep him as starting quarterback Russell Wilson’s insurance policy. Why? One reason is he comes at a price: a three-year, $19.5 million contract.

But the team has said they’re open to hearing offers as he’s been open in his desire to be a starter.

Last week at the combine, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said via PFT.com, “It’s so early. Everybody is in the middle of the draft process. So it’s not like I’ve had a chance to sit down with other general managers and some of the people I know around the league to talk about what their situation is. As you guys well know, we’re always going to listen to everything and if we’re not doing that, we think we’re not doing our job. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will do something with Matt.”

Flynn does comes with a red flag: he has tendinitis in his throwing arm. It hampered him in his competition against Wilson last year for the starting role. Teams have expressed concerns about it; others have said it is “absolutely fine.”

So what teams could be interested? Some pundits have the Jacksonville Jaguars thanks to the new head coach, Gus Bradley, former Seahawks  defensive coordinator role; he has said he “definitely likes” the player. There’s also the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets, who appear to be auditioning everyone, who need to improve their quarterback situations.

For the Seahawks, they’re 12 to 1 to win the Super Bowl next year.

Cassel to Arizona, Vikings, Jets?

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel

As for Cassel, he’s a bonfide mediocre starter with lots of game film. Now that they have Smith, it’s time for the Chiefs to shop the player around but he’ll also come at a price: a $7.5 million salary this year and $9 million for next.

He’ll also bring a 2012 stat line that includes 1,796 passing yards, six touchdowns and 12 picks.

According to NFL.com, the Arizona Cardinals are conducting due diligence on the player but it’s not necessarily for a starting role but instead next to quarterback Kevin Kolb. Kolb also comes with a hefty payday and is expected to take a pay cut to remain with the team.

It has also been reported that new Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians likes Kolb but who’s to say Cassel couldn’t knock Kolb out of the starting role? Either way, he’s probably better than Kolb’s current backup, John Skelton.

Then there’s the Vikings. Head coach Leslie Frazier has said Christian Ponder is his starting quarterback but they are looking for a veteran to teach and nudge the starter for improved play. He does have a penchant for turnovers: 30 turnovers over the previous 30 games.

Behind curtain No. 3 is the Jets. At 30, Cassel may not be the long-term answer for this team but again he could get Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to take it up a notch. The team has been open that it wants the player to have some competition, but really, isn’t that least of their worries with him?

For the Cardinals, they’re 66 to 1, the Vikings 35 to 1 and the Jets 40 to 1 to heist the Lombardi trophy in 2014.