Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Conflicting reports on Browns, Matt Flynn
By Jamison Hensley
Conflicting reports have emerged on the Cleveland Browns' interest in Matt Flynn, who is widely regarded as the second-best quarterback in free agency.
On Tuesday, the first day of NFL free agency, a source told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Browns exchanged contract offers with Flynn. On Wednesday morning, a league source told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the reports about the Browns pursuing Flynn are untrue.
So, who do you believe? I'm sticking with my earlier assessment that the Browns don't have much interest in Flynn. It's too big of an investment — potentially a $50 million contract — for a quarterback with two starts. The Browns would be making the right call to be wary of spending that money on a quarterback who doesn't have elite arm strength. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Flynn completed less than half of his passes outside the field numbers (17 of 36) from 2008 to 2010.
Flynn is a timing passer who makes decisive reads but won't be able to deliver the throw on a 25-yard comeback route. If the Browns wanted a quarterback like that, then they should just stick with Colt McCoy.
Of course, the logical question becomes: If the Browns aren't pursuing Flynn, which quarterback will they pursue? After getting outbid for the No. 2 overall pick and a shot a Robert Griffin III, there really isn't a franchise quarterback out there. The problem is, the Browns have to bring in competition for McCoy.
I've already mentioned the possibilities of Kevin Kolb (who is due a $7 million roster bonus from Arizona at the end of the week) and Matt Hasselbeck (who could get pushed out if the Titans sign Peyton Manning). Sure, neither one will inspire Browns fans to start saving money for playoff tickets. But both won't require sizable contracts that would stop the Browns from drafting a franchise quarterback in next year's draft.
If the Browns want to add a young quarterback this year, they could look at a first-round prospect like Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill or a second-round one like Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden. There are question marks with both of these quarterbacks as well. Tannehill only has 19 career starts in college, and Weeden will be a 28-year-old rookie.