Flynn Dilemma Remains On Hold

Whether it's by a trade now or free agency later, the league's best backup quarterback is ready for the next step in his career path. The Packers' dilemma? Deal him for a top draft pick or most likely lose him in free agency next year.

If not for the lockout, the fate of Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn would have trumped any talk of first-round picks in the buildup to the draft.

Flynn went from lowly seventh-round draft pick in 2008 to what one source called the best backup quarterback in the entire NFL. In his first professional start, he almost knocked off the powerhouse Patriots in Foxboro.

With that, the Packers would have faced a major decision before last month's draft. With Flynn's contract to expire after the upcoming season, the Packers probably could have received a second-round draft pick — maybe even a first — for Flynn. Last year, San Diego sent backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst — the son of former Packers quarterback David Whitehurst and a third-round pick in 2006 — to Seattle. The Chargers moved up 20 slots in the second round of the 2010 draft and got an additional third-rounder in 2011.

At this point in their careers, Flynn is considered the superior prospect. If he were to play out his contract and then sign elsewhere as a free agent next March, the Packers would be lucky to get a third-round compensatory pick in return. For sake of comparison, the difference between a mid-second-round draft pick and a third-round compensatory pick would be about 50 selections.

On the other hand, keeping Flynn gives the Packers' chances of defending their Super Bowl crown a life preserver should Aaron Rodgers miss a few games.

Flynn, whose calm-in-a-storm demeanor is one of his strong suits, said he wasn't losing any sleep, despite the uncertainty.

Flynn celebrates after the Super Bowl.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
"It's hard not to think about it but you can't really think about, ‘What if this happens? What if that happens?'" Flynn told Packer Report recently. "Nothing's really going on in the league right now. It's something you can't control so why burden yourself worrying about it?"

Flynn said his first three seasons in Green Bay flew by. He loves going to work every day with Rodgers and the Super Bowl MVP has been a great mentor. With that said, Flynn is a competitor and his career ambitions don't include spending a dozen years watching Rodgers leading the team to the playoffs.

"I haven't put a lot of thought into it, especially with the lockout going on, but my goal is to eventually be a starter in the NFL," Flynn said. "That's my goal. But I love being a Packer and I love being here. It's something that I'm not putting a whole lot of thought into it right now."

Aside from the Tailgate Tour's voyage around Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Flynn has been working out at home and throwing to receivers at his alma mater, LSU. It's a stark difference from his last couple of offseasons, with March and April spent in quarterbacks school and May and June spent in organized team activities and a minicamp.

While coach Mike McCarthy saw a silver lining in Rodgers getting an offseason breather, he lamented that Flynn and Graham Harrell were losing opportunities to improve their games.

"The two young quarterbacks are the ones that are really being cheating," McCarthy told the "SiriusXM Blitz" radio program recently. "Matt Flynn would definitely benefit from going through another year of quarterback school. The guy I was really looking forward to working with was Graham Harrell. He's someone that definitely has a chance to be a good quarterback in this league. We were all looking forward to working with him this offseason."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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