by Nicholas Spiller
It all seems quite logical after the fact, but we sure wanted to chat about the Packers putting that $14 million franchise tag on Matt Flynn to sneak an extra first round draft pick. My favorite rumor was about us trading our 28th overall pick and Flynn for the Brown’s 4th pick and taking Quinton Coples: a fierce defensive end out of North Carolina who could complement Clay Matthews. But no, Ted Thompson again refused to blink in the face of risk. Here is why:
1. $14 million is a LOT of Money: So if no one offers us the golden trade for Matt Flynn, we need to start thinking about who we cut to keep us under the salary cap. Who goes? Donald Driver? Maybe Charles Woodson? They are a bit old. Center Scott Wells is definitely out, and we may even have to consider parting ways with young, decent role players like James Jones and A.J. Hawk. So unless we had gotten a trading partner before the tag expired, the risk of stripping the team of veteran leadership and core players was a bit steep; that is, for a backup QB.
2. $14 million is a LOT of Money: Aaron Rodgers is set to make around $11 million next season. So, let’s pay a guy more than the league MVP to warm the bench. No.
3. Flynn is unproven: Yes he played very well in limited game time but it was limited. No one is willing to offer him that kind of money for what he did. He played very well in the loss to the Patriots last season, and his 6td season finale against Detroit was sensational. But remember that game against the Lions last year when he came in for Rodgers? It’s far too expensive and risky to trade a 1st rounder, let alone pay that kind of money for Flynn. He will make a decent contract somewhere, and he will be able to decide where that is.
4. Too many QB’s: This should be an optimistic offseason for anyone looking for a quarterback. On the left side you have two young stars entering the league in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III on scaled salaries. On the right side we have an exceptional leader who is mature and arguably the best QB of all time in Peyton Manning. Matt Flynn would be nice, but lets be honest. He’s no Manning.
5. We still get a 3rd rounder: We will likely receive a compensatory draft pick in next year’s draft. Ted Thompson is smart during the draft. This is all part of the stockpiling picks plan. The draft is largely a blind toss of the dart. When we trade back and draft 11 players each year, we have 11 hungry new faces. When teams trade for need, they get 5. And if Thompson finds a great player in the first round, this is the perfect type of draft pick that will enable us to trade up and find, say, the next Clay Matthews.
This was the right choice. Sportcenter needs material to chat about and its all just speculation. It looks fun and it gets people talking about football when really no one needs to talk about football. Sorry that we cant get any more Tarheels to Green Bay like Ryan Taylor last year, but I think we will be fine.
Nicholas Spiller resides in LA, where he dreams of musical super-stardom and Packers glory. He also writes for sportspiller.com and can be reached at [email protected]. In addition to covering the Green Bay Packers, he writes about soccer and Carolina Basketball.