Less than two years after he bolted Green Bay for a $US26 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback Matt Flynn is returning to the Packers.
It’s his third team in seven months, and his fourth team since leaving the Packers in March of 2012.
The move makes sense for both sides. The Packers need quarterback depth with both Aaron Rodgers and back-up Seneca Wallace injured. And Flynn needs a team after getting cut by both Oakland and Buffalo in the last five weeks.
Flynn has one of the strangest career arcs of any player in professional sports. He was drafted in the 7th round in 2008 with the expressed purpose of being Aaron Rodgers’ back-up. For three years he filled that role, only seeing the field in the waining minutes of blowouts or the rare instances when Rodgers got hurt.
In the final game of the 2011 season, though, a 14-1 Packers team rested all their starters. Flynn started at quarterback — only his second start ever — and subsequently had the greatest passing game in team history.
He was 31 for 44 for 480 yard and six touchdown passes. Coming into the game he had three touchdown passes and 535 career passing yards in his entire career.
That one good game made him a highly coveted free agent. He ended up signing with the Seahawks for big money, but his career has gone downhill since.
In 2012, rookie Russell Wilson took his starting job in Seattle. He finished the season with nine passing attempts in three back-up appearances.
In April of 2013 he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, where his starting job was taken by second-year QB Terrelle Pryor. Last month he was cut after making one start for Oakland — a loss to Washington.
He signed with the injured-ravaged Buffalo Bills after that. But after being unable to beat out third-stringer Jeff Tuel for the starting job, he was cut there as well.
Now he’s back in Green Bay to back-up Scott Tolzien — the same role he had before that one game sent him on a whirlwind adventure around the NFL.
It’s not all bad for Flynn. He ended up earning $US14.5 million of that $US26 million Seahawks contract. That’s much, much more than he would have made if he never had that historic game in 2012.
Considering guaranteed money is hard to come by in the NFL — especially for reserve players — Flynn is one of the league’s oddest success stories.
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