RENTON – Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider said before free agency began that incumbent starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will have to look over his shoulder in 2012.
“Tarvaris did a nice job for us last year, and we’ll be looking for someone to come in and compete with him,” Schneider said at last month’s NFL scouting combine.
The Seahawks are following through with that plan, with Green Bay free agent quarterback Matt Flynn expected to arrive in Seattle tonight for a visit.
The other possible quarterback target for the Seahawks, Chad Henne, canceled his scheduled trip to Seattle after signing a two-year deal with Jacksonville to compete for the starting job with Blaine Gabbert.
But if the Seahawks sign Flynn, he likely will not receive “starter” money, but a contract more in line with the two-year, $8 million deal Jackson signed when he joined the team last year, with the idea of competing for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job.
Other than Peyton Manning, Flynn was thought to be the darling of this year’s free agent quarterback class after his impressive performance in relief duty in Green Bay’s final regular-season game against Detroit. That’s when he set the Packers’ franchise record for passing yards and touchdowns in a game, throwing for 480 yards and six touchdowns on 31-of-44 passing. Of course, the seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2008 has had limited playing time behind Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Flynn has two career starts.
Interest in Flynn’s services has waned. The Miami Dolphins still remain in the hunt for Flynn, while the Cleveland Browns appear to have moved on.
And whether Flynn is brought in to upgrade the quarterback position or not, Jackson will be the first one up to get a chance to lead the Seahawks.
“I don’t think there’s any question that Tarvaris has a big upside,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “And we need to fit with him as he fits with us. He needs time with his guys. He needs an offensive line that’s got their act together from the start.
“(We’ve) got to keep him healthy. You remember just as the line got going, he was a wreck. And so if we fit it all together with a really big-time offseason and we get it all together, I think there’s a chance for a lot of growth.”
The roster churn continued for Seattle, with tight end John Carlson signing a jaw-dropping, five-year, $25 million deal – including $11 million guaranteed – with his hometown team, Minnesota, after not playing a down last season because of a shoulder injury.
Free agent linebacker David Hawthorne will visit New Orleans on Friday, with other teams interested.
Along with Flynn, Tennessee Titans free agent defensive tackle Jason Jones is expected to visit Seattle on Friday.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com