Search icon


20th Aug 2015

This NFL quarterback has made $18m despite starting just 7 games in 7 years

Kevin Beirne

Matt Flynn hasn’t had what most people would consider a successful NFL career.

But despite starting just seven games in his seven-year stint as a professional, we’re going to guess that he’s pretty happy with this statistic…

In total, Flynn has thrown just 17 touchdown passes over the last seven years – with six of those coming in one game.

Only once has he started more than one game in a season, yet he has somehow made $18m from various contracts.

So how did this happen?

After being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Flynn sat on the bench behind Aaron Rodgers waiting for his time to shine.

That came in the final game of the 2011 regular season – when, in Rodgers’ absence, he threw a Packers record six touchdowns against the Detroit Lions.

Rodgers returned for the playoffs and the Packers won the Superbowl, but some people were curious about what Flynn had to offer.

The timing couldn’t have been better for Flynn, whose contract expired at the end of the season. The Seattle Seahawks quickly signed him to a $20m deal with $9m in guaranteed money.

Unfortunately, the Seahawks also drafted a young quarterback that year by the name of Russell Wilson who beat Flynn to a starting position. This made Flynn expendable, so they shipped him out to the place where expendable players go: the Oakland Raiders.

Once again, Flynn was beaten to a starring role by a rookie quarterback, this time Terrell Pryor. In the third week of the season Pryor – who is now with the Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver (i.e. not a quarterback) – went down with a concussion and Flynn stepped in.

He started just one game for the Raiders in Pryor’s absence, before being dropped due to his poor performance and eventually released.

Since then, Flynn has spent time with the Buffalo Bills (where he made no starts despite the Bills starting three different rookie quarterbacks that year) and the New England Patriots (where he was released after just two months) as well as a brief return with the Packers for one season.

Now Flynn has signed with the New York Jets – with a guaranteed salary of $780,000 – where he looks to stand in for Geno Smith – who had his jaw broken by one of his own players.

It’s quite a career earnings for a player who has barely seen any action.