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Sunday, March 18, 2012
Matt Flynn's impact on Packers' 2013 draft

By Kevin Seifert

If you're a fan of quarterback Matt Flynn, you should have been happy to see him sign Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks. As we discussed earlier this month, the Seahawks were one of the two most-favorable destinations for a quarterback of Flynn's background, along with the Miami Dolphins.

In Seattle, Flynn will be dropped into a West coast offense not dissimilar from what he ran with the Green Bay Packers. He'll have a legitimate No. 1 receiver in Sidney Rice, presuming Rice's good health moving forward, and he'll be playing behind an offensive line the Seahawks have been working hard to improve.

If you're a Packers fan, you're looking at the three-year contract Flynn signed and wondering if it's going to scale back the value of the compensatory draft pick(s) the Packers receive in the 2013 draft for his departure. The deal is worth between $19 million and $26 million, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ESPN's Adam Schefter, and includes $10 million in guarantees.

The NFL does not reveal how it computes compensatory draft picks, but generally speaking, it's based on the net difference between free agents lost and signed. The value on each side is determined by the size of the contracts signed and the playing time/performance of the player the following year, among other criteria.

To make a long story somewhat short, Flynn's deal means it's possible the Packers' highest compensatory draft pick in 2013 will be a fourth-rounder, not a third-rounder as previously projected. We'll find out in March 2013.

One thing the contract does tell us: The Packers made the right decision in declining to place the franchise tag on Flynn. He spent six days on the free agent market and ultimately signed a contract that fell short of what most unquestioned veteran starters are paid. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Sunday that Flynn will compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job.

Almost certainly, then, the Packers wouldn't have been able to talk a team into giving up a draft pick higher than what they'll ultimately get next season in the compensatory process.

Back with you Monday, barring further news this evening.