2014 free-agent countdown
20. Chris Banjo, safety
19. Seneca Wallace, quarterback
18. Kahlil Bell, running back
17. Robert Francois, inside linebacker
16. Marshall Newhouse, offensive lineman
15. C.J. Wilson, defensive lineman
14. M.D. Jennings, safety
13. Jamari Lattimore, inside linebacker
12. Johnny Jolly, defensive line
11. Matt Flynn, quarterback
The re-signing of Matt Flynn on Nov. 12 didn’t garner as much attention as Aaron Rodgers’ 48-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb, but was arguably as important to saving the Green Bay Packers’ season.
Some of the warts that led to Flynn’s ouster from Seattle and Oakland resurfaced during his five appearances in Green Bay, but the 28-year-old veteran was capable enough to keep the Packers in the NFC North title hunt in Rodgers’ absence.
The former seventh-round pick went 2-2 as a starter and compiled an 86.1 quarterback rating. The passing game became more dink-and-dunk without Rodgers, but Flynn's play was critical in late-season comeback wins over Atlanta and Dallas.
“Matt deserves a lot of credit,” Rodgers said last month. “Obviously, two big comeback wins against Dallas and Atlanta were humungous. That Dallas game was just a great second-half performance by him. But I’m proud of him. I feel like a big brother when I’m watching him out there because we spend a lot of time together and he is a close friend. I just enjoy watching him perform.”
Rodgers said he’d like Flynn retained, but the two sides must decide if they wish to continue the reunion.
Two factors are at play during negotiations this offseason.
First, Flynn must decide whether he wants another crack at being a starting quarterback or feels comfortable enough with the situation in Green Bay to stand pat.
The Packers have countless needs this to address in the draft, so taking a developmental quarterback any earlier than the final rounds seems out of the question. Coach Mike McCarthy also seems to like the prospects of former Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, who’s under contract for another season.
The Packers signed Flynn to a one-year deal for a prorated veteran minimum of $715,000, but the way he played might require a bit more commitment. He won the Packers’ only two games without Rodgers and brought them back in a 16-point deficit to tie Minnesota to start the turnaround.
Brett Favre's long-time backup, Doug Pederson, was 33 years old when he returned to the Packers in 2001. Flynn is a bit younger - he'll turn 29 in June - but his familiarity with Mike McCarthy's system could make Green Bay a good fit for the long term.
“He’s obviously comfortable in Green Bay,” Rodgers said before to his return in an eventual 33-28 win over Chicago bookend by his touchdown pass to Cobb. “He’s had some great performances here and he’s the reason we’re in this second season here.”
Editor's note: Prior to the start of the new league year in March, Press-Gazette Media is counting down the top 20 unrestricted, restricted and exclusive right free agents the Green Bay Packers will have to decide on this offseason.
No. 11 Matt Flynn, sixth-year quarterback
The skinny: Unrestricted free agent.
The snaps: 324 total (324 offense).
The stats: 102-of-166 passing for 1,146 yards, seven touchdowns, four interceptions.
The 2013 salary: $715,000.