It wasn't the astronomical contract that franchise quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Joe Flacco received in the past year, but the three-year, $19.5 million contract signed by Matt Flynn during the 2012 offseason indicated that he was in line to be the starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.
Six months later, though, Flynn was back in the same role that he had during his first four seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers: back-up.
Flynn, 27, served as the understudy to Super Bowl XLV's MVP, Aaron Rodgers, but excelled in some of the few opportunities he received with the Packers, including 480 yards passing with six touchdowns and one interception against the Detroit Lions in his only start during the 2011 season. The flash of brilliance from Flynn led the Seahawks to dish out a deal that made the former-LSU quarterback the favorite to win a competition against incumbent starter, Tarvaris Jackson.
And he did. Flynn performed well enough in training camp and the preseason with the Seahawks, his 71.8 completion percentage and 81.6 passer rating were solid signs that he could handle the job and put him ahead of Jackson on the depth chart. Unfortunately for Flynn, third-round draft pick Russell Wilson looked the part, as well.
The rookie tossed five touchdowns in the preseason and finished with a 110.3 passer rating, leading head coach Pete Carroll to choose Wilson over Flynn as the Week 1 starter. Wilson never looked back, leading the Seahawks to an 11-5 regular season record and a postseason victory over the Washington Redskins.
Now Flynn enters the 2013 season, his sixth in the NFL, in the same role that he played in during his first four years with the Packers: a back-up for a team with a Pro Bowl starter. That is, unless the Seahawks choose to trade him to a team in need of help at quarterback.
Earlier in the offseason, reports indicated that the Seahawks would be open to the idea of moving Flynn; however, more recent reports have said that the Seahawks are also "more than fine" with keeping him as a back-up to Wilson. Due to count $7.25 million against Seattle's salary cap in 2013, he's a pricy back-up, but Wilson's $681,085 cap hit makes up the difference.
It seems that the most likely scenario for Flynn is another season on the sideline with a clipboard, a scenario that has been the best fit for many players, including David Carr, Byron Leftwich and Jason Campbell, among others. The difference, though, is that those quarterbacks each had a chance as a starter and proved they couldn't cut it.
A chance that Flynn hasn't yet received, but didn't quite snare either when a small window of opportunity presented itself in 2012. Simply put, he was beat out for the starting job by the preseason performance of a third-round rookie.
With a career passer rating of 92.0, Flynn would seem to be in line for a chance to start in the NFL, but that chance doesn't seem like it'll be with the Seahawks. It may come later rather than sooner as well.