Now that Jermichael Finley is chillin’ with his $15 million over the next two years, the Packers cleared up one problem for themselves, while possibly creating a significant one for a team in South Beach that’s desperate for a quarterback.
The franchise tag is free for use elsewhere in Green Bay, and the next logical candidate is Matt Flynn, the Packers’ highly-coveted backup. That’s has been a speculated move for quite some time, and a costly one.
The price of the tag for quarterbacks is estimated at a minimum of $14.3 million for a one-year contract. The worst case scenario for Packers general manager Ted Thompson is that he decides to pursue a tag-and-trade and no other team is willing to pay that price. He’ll be stuck paying a backup to look pretty with a clipboard, while his MVP starter makes significantly less in 2012 (Aaron Rodgers is slated to earned $8 million next year).
But with Flynn’s elevated value in a passing era, that may be a risk worth taking for Thompson. And if he takes that gamble, he’ll be dictating the Dolphins’ hand.
Chad Henne’s departure is a mere formality for Miami, and while Matt Moore was impressive last year, he’s not a long-term solution. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland agrees, saying at the Senior Bowl last month that he’s actively seeking an upgrade at quarterback, and with his former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin now the Dolphins head coach, Flynn is the ideal candidate.
If Green Bay opts to tag their backup who’s started just two NFL games, Miami will have to commit to that one-year tender before hopefully negotiating a more affordable long-term deal, and then likely give up something similar to the haul Matt Schaub brought Atlanta in 2007 (two second-round picks).
There’s another option for Miami, and he already has his own Florida fan club. Despite lingering and serious concerns about his durability, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post wrote that regardless of what happens with Flynn, the Dolphins still view Peyton Manning as their top priority if/when he’s released by Indianapolis.
But Flynn is still a very, very close second.
If the Packers decide to tag-and-trade Flynn, it could cool the Dolphins’ interest in the unproven quarterback, who has just two starts in four NFL seasons. Or, it could leave the Dolphins as the only trading partner after other teams back off.
Manning’s not the long-term solution due to his health and age, so making him the primary target is difficult to fathom. Flynn may be unproven, but he still feels much safer.
And the rest…
- Mike Wallace wants to stay in Pittsburgh, but he knows that a split is likely given the Steelers’ cap situation. [Pittsburgh Tribune]
- But cap crunch aside, the Steelers may have other motives for not committing to Wallace. Despite his talent and speed, he’s a “one trick pony.” [Total Steelers]
- Leave it to Clinton Portis, the guy who used to regularly wear discount costumes assembled from items at local thrift stores, to be the outside voice who gives a proper players’ perspective on Manning’s emotions as he prepares to likely leave Indianapolis. [DC Sports Blog]
- You’ll have to endure some awful music with this slice of Internet video, but some chemistry students ran the 40-yard dash through their lab as per Rich Eisen’s request. There were lab coats, gas masks, and lots of duct tape. [Niners Nation]
- People make funny faces while doing strenuous physical activity of any kind, so let’s laugh at a photo gallery of professional athletes at the Scouting Combine. [Total Packers]
- The Jets freed up $7.5 million in cap room by restructuring D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s contract. [New York Daily News]
- There’s at least one person in Tennessee who thinks the Titans should take a chance on Terrell Owens. [The Tennessean]
- Brandon Lloyd is impressed with Blaine Gabbert, which means that Brandon Lloyd is the only NFL player, coach, fan, or water boy who’s impressed with Blaine Gabbert. [Big Cat Country]
- If the Browns can work out a deal with D’Qwell Jackson, then Peyton Hillis and kicker Phil Dawson will become the leading candidates for Cleveland’s franchise tag. [Mary Kay Cabot on Twitter]
- Today is the first official day of the Scouting Combine, and while we’re focusing on the various events of the underwear Olympics, the seeds for free agent contracts are being planted somewhere in an Indianapolis hotel lobby. [Chicago Tribune]