The Miami Dolphins have been linked to Matt Flynn since Joe Philbin was named the new Dolphins head coach. Flynn was linked to the Dolphins because Philbin is familiar with him, having spent the last 4 seasons with Flynn in Green Bay. Flynn is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13th, meaning he is free to sign with any team that he chooses. Well, that was the plan…..until Wednesday…..
Wednesday evening, the Green Bay Packers re-signed their Pro Bowl tight end, Jermichael Finley to a 2 year contract worth $15 mil. Great, but how does that effect the Dolphins pursuit of Matt Flynn? Well, Finley and the Packers were thought to be too far apart on terms of a deal. If they were unable to agree on a deal, many experts believed that Finley would be given the Franchise Tag by the Packers. But, since Finley is now signed, the Packers could use their Franchise Tag on Matt Flynn.
You might be wondering why the Packers would put the franchise tag (worth $14 mil in 2012) on their backup quarterback. The truth is, the Packers would only place the tag on Flynn if they expect to trade him before the 2012 season. It’s certainly a risky move…..What if the Packers franchise Flynn, but can’t find a trade partner that will pay the price they want? They’d be stuck paying their backup QB $14 mil!
If the Packers choose to place the franchise tag on Matt Flynn, the price instantly goes up for the Dolphins, if Flynn is their target to upgrade their QB position. Instead of simply paying Flynn a contract in the range of what Kevin Kolb received last offseason, the Dolphins would also need to give up draft picks (perhaps a 2nd rounder or even a 1st). If Flynn is franchised, the Dolphins might need to seriously reconsider their plans for the offseason.
If the high contract and draft pick compensation is too much for the Dolphins to stomach, there are alternatives. Peyton Manning, if healthy is probably a less expensive (albeit riskier) prospect. The Dolphins could also engage in trade talks with the Rams about the #2 pick in the draft to select Robert Griffin III. However, if the Dolphins choose to go that route, I think they should give the Rams their best offer in March, so they know they have their QB in hand. There are other QBs that could interest the Dolphins, including Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill. Finally, there’s also the possibility that the Dolphins could go into 2012 with Matt Moore as their starter. They could use free agency to secure a solid backup QB and give Moore more weapons on offense.
The Packers signing Finley may not seem like a big deal, but it could directly effect the Dolphins. This is just the first of what should be many surprise twists this offseason. Stay tuned, because things are just about to get interesting!