Green Bay Packers: Could a Matt Flynn Trade Rocket Team to a Top 10 Pick?

With the franchise tag deadline rapidly approaching (March 5 for those of you following along at home), the question remains whether or not the Green Bay Packers will use it on backup quarterback Matt Flynn in order to trade him to another team for value rather than simply giving him away in free agency.

Doing so is a gamble; the franchise tag for quarterbacks this year is just over $14 million, so it’s not likely the Packers would franchise Flynn without an interested trading partner already lined up.

However, Packers blogger Marques Eversoll put forth an alternate scenario for the Flynn trade, one that examined closely yesterday: What if the Packers franchised Flynn and orchestrated a trade that includes both him and the team’s No. 28 first round draft pick?

Doing so could put the Packers in the top 10 in the first round in the draft, able to snag practically any and every target (presumably a defensive player) they have on their most-wanted list.

The Miami Dolphins are considered to be a top landing spot for Flynn, as their head coach Joe Philbin was most recently the Packers’ offensive coordinator and, coincidentally, have the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft.

Eversoll cites the NFL‘s Draft Pick Value chart, saying that the No. 8 overall pick is worth 1,400 points, while the Packers’ No. 28 pick is worth 660. Assuming that the difference in value between the two—740 points, the equivalent of the No. 24 pick in the first round—is what the Dolphins believe Flynn is worth, then there may be grounds for the trade.

This way, the Packers can move up in the draft to take one of their most prized targets, the Dolphins get their much-needed quarterback and yet still have a pick in the first round.

It’s a pretty solid hypothetical strategy, one that, at least on the surface, looks like a win-win for both sides. However, a number of things would have to fall into place in the next six days for this to happen.

First, the Dolphins and Philbin would have to be highly interested in Flynn, something that has yet to be truly confirmed. Second, the Packers would have to be willing to franchise Flynn at that expensive price with the knowledge that they can in fact trade him.

Surely if anyone knows whether Flynn is worth the equivalent of a 24th overall pick, it would be Philbin.

If he does view Flynn that way, the Packers packaging Flynn and their first rounder would be a surefire way to get their most desired draft pick, while the Dolphins receive ostensibly their most desired quarterback.

Agent of Top 10 Draft Prospect Says Cleveland Browns Aren’t Trying to Win

An interesting piece of information came to light today, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s own Matt Miller, who has been in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine the past few days.

He reported that in talking to the agent for a top-10 draft prospect, the agent revealed that he wouldn’t want the Cleveland Browns to draft his charge in April.

Miller seems fairly certain that this information is not the standard agent-to-reporter misdirection that is commonplace at the Combine, but rather the actual, if not rather unsettling, truth. I am prone to agree.

There’s practically no reason for an agent to tell a member of the media they’d prefer their client not be drafted fourth overall (or earlier, depending upon who this agent is and who he represents) except as a plea to the Browns to back off their client and let him go to a team he’s more enthusiastic about.

However, that’s a pretty ridiculous piece to willingly put out there. The agent’s direct quote is this:

“We don’t want to go to Cleveland. Man they’re not trying to win there, with that quarterback (Colt McCoy) and those draft picks last year. They ain’t trying to build a winner.”

Well then, mystery agent, what does that make your client?

Ostensibly, a player projected to be a top-10 draft pick can improve a team, though one player cannot single-handedly turn around a franchise (for all of quarterback Cam Newton’s accomplishments in 2011, the Carolina Panthers ended the year with a 6-10 record). He can certainly serve as a jumping-off point for wholesale improvement.

So this agent is basically saying that though he represents a highly talented draft prospect, this player won’t do enough to help the Browns win games.

He’s saying this player is by no means excited to be drafted so highly, paid so well and be respected by the team’s fans who hope that he’ll bring about positive change in his rookie year.

The draft process is what it is for a reason, otherwise all the most talented players would gravitate to a handful of franchises and troubled teams would remain that way in perpetuity.

One would assume that a soon-to-be professional competitor such as the player this man represents would embrace the challenge that is joining a struggling team and helping it win games, rather than (albeit anonymously) disparaging the team that could very well draft him regardless.

Plainly stated, it’s both rude and tactless. It also completely misses the point when it comes to the very rare opportunity to not only play in the NFL, but also to be drafted fourth overall.

Yes, the Browns have had a winning record just twice since the franchise was re-formed in 1999, but it should be exciting to this prospect to have the chance to turn that trend around. Instead, it’s as though they’re saying that the Browns will drag this player down rather than him helping to elevate the team.

Strategic, anonymous leaks of information to media in the weeks leading up the NFL draft is certainly nothing new, and comments such as these aren’t uncommon either. However, whatever the intended purpose of saying such a thing may be, it comes off all wrong.

Clearly this player doesn’t want to be part of any club that would have him as a member; hopefully, for the sake of the Browns organization, they don’t try to bring him on board in April.

Links to the Best in NFC North Coverage, 2/28 Edition

Today’s news around the NFC North primarily concerns the upcoming draft, especially which players teams should target.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has said that the team was open to trading down from their No. 3 overall draft pick. Now that the St. Louis Rams have confirmed they will be trading their No. 2 pick, it looks like the Vikings will have to keep it after all.

Since the Vikings will be using their first-round pick, Bleacher Report’s Chris Schad makes the case that left tackle Matt Kalil is the very best choice they could make.

Despite his poor showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and his history on the field, the Detroit Free Press‘ Dave Birkett says that linebacker Vontaze Burfict is still an ideal match for the Detroit Lions.

Bob McGinn of the Green Bay Press-Gazette spoke to Packers head coach Mike McCarthy about cornerback Charles Woodson, saying that Woodson would not be switched to safety in 2012.

The Chicago Bears need a wide receiver this year, but luckily for them the draft class is deep, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.

Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Alpert takes a look at the best drafts the Chicago Bears have had in franchise history.

AFC North Mailbag for February 27

It’s a light load for today’s AFC North mailbag, with most everyone’s eyes glued intently on the NFL‘s Scouting Combine, which continues through tomorrow.

However, I won’t let a meager two questions dismay me; no, I will answer these two questions with great joy and attention to detail. However, I would like it even more if I had five or six questions to address.

So be sure to follow me on Twitter (follow button located conveniently at the end of this column) to find out when I will next be requesting your questions—all are answered, guaranteed. Now, onward to today’s questions, which are both about the Cleveland Browns.

NFC North Roster Updates

A few personnel moves have happened—or are rumored to happen soon—around the NFC North. Let’s take a look at what everyone’s been talking about recently.

2012 NFL Draft: Today’s War Room Thoughts for Every AFC North Team for 2/27

The NFL Scouting Combine is still underway in Indianapolis, which means each team in the AFC North has the draft very much on their minds today. Considering all we’ve seen out of this year’s draft prospects in the past days, there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to potential draft targets for all four teams.