GREEN BAY – As the 2011 regular season was winding down – long before offensive coordinator Joe Philbin had gotten his new job, even before the unforgettable, record-setting performance on New Year’s Day – Josh Sitton delivered a bold prediction about his friend Matt Flynn.
“Didn't you hear? He’s taking his talents to South Beach,” the Green Bay Packers right guard said of Flynn, the team’s backup quarterback and unrestricted free agent-to-be.
Three months later, Sitton still has a chance of being right, as Flynn’s search for a new team – and a starting job in the NFL – is officially in full swing.
Flynn was slated to be in the Pacific Northwest Thursday night and Friday visiting the Seattle Seahawks, but he’s also scheduled a trip to Miami next to visit the Dolphins and Philbin, the Dolphins head coach – according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February, most observers viewed the Dolphins as a logical landing spot for Flynn because of Philbin. But then the Dolphins entered the Peyton Manning chase.
The Dolphins appear unlikely to land Manning, however, since Manning met with Philbin in Indianapolis while visiting in person the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans.
It's possible, of course, that the Seahawks will make Flynn an offer he cannot refuse and he'll never make it to South Florida. Frequently in free agency, teams try to strike a deal before the player leaves for his next scheduled destination.
Seattle general manager John Schneider, who was one of Packers GM Ted Thompson’s right-hand men when Green Bay drafted Flynn in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, acknowledged in Indianapolis that familiarity plays a role in the decision-making process on a free-agent player. And both he and Philbin certainly have familiarity with Flynn.
“If you have a feeling for the guy … I think it’s a definite advantage,” said Schneider, who has signed several ex-Packers for the Seahawks, including right tackle Breno Giacomini. “It’s so much easier than going after a guy that’s say, on waivers from another club that you’ve never, ever spent any time with, and you’re going to cut a player to put him on your team, you’re kind of like, ‘Man, what are we getting ourselves into?’ You have to do your research.”
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