All Matt Flynn wanted was a chance to become a legitimate starting quarterback in the National Football League.
He never got it.
Instead, Flynn played backup to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and E.J. Manuel during his nomadic, eight-year National Football League career.
Despite not realizing his aspiration of becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL, Flynn turned in one of the greatest backup quarterback performances in league history in 2012.
The unheralded Flynn established a single-game franchise record 480 passing yards and six touchdown passes in the Green Bay Packers’ 45-41 victory over the Detroit Lions on New Year’s Day.
His mentor, Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers, matched that gaudy feat almost two years later.
Matt Flynn’s roller-coaster ride in the pro football ranks was certainly one for the ages.
Matthew Clayton Flynn was born to parents Alvin and Ruth in Tyler, TX on June 20, 1985.
He has four siblings: Adam, Bill, Rebecca, and Amanda.
Flynn, a native Texan, grew up following the Dallas Cowboys.
Front page of today's newspaper from Tyler, Texas — Matt Flynn's hometown, about 120 miles from Cowboys Stadium: pic.twitter.com/1riZKcVSSc
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 16, 2013
Flynn’s father Alvin played quarterback for the Baylor Bears during his college days.
USA TODAY college football recruiting writer Max Emfinger was Alvin Flynn’s teammate and fraternity brother at Baylor University.
Matt Flynn attended Robert E. Lee High School (now known as Tyler Legacy High School) in his hometown of Tyler, TX.
Flynn starred at quarterback for the Robert E. Lee Red Raiders.
Flynn was in tremendous physical shape during his high school football career.
According to Emfinger, the young protege had just six percent body fat and a 33-inch vertical leap.
Matt Flynn displayed his amazing physical prowess on the high school gridiron.
He had 1,643 passing yards and 13 touchdown passes and led the Red Raiders to the state playoffs.
Flynn had 1,679 passing yards and nine touchdown passes during his senior season in 2002.
He added 305 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns for good measure.
Despite playing under center with a broken foot in the Red Raiders’ final four games in 2002, Flynn managed to lead them to a state semifinal appearance, per LSU’s official athletics website.
Matt Flynn emerged as one of the best high school signal-callers in the Lone Star State.
He was named to the SuperPrep Texas 124, Dallas Morning News Texas Top 100, and the Tyler Morning Telegraph All-East Texas Football Team as a senior.
Emfinger lauded Flynn for his uncanny field presence and timing – he knew how to find the open receiver just as the pass rush closed in on him.
Flynn also had excellent mobility in the pocket. He could evade pass rushers with his exemplary footwork.
While Flynn wasn’t known as a scrambler during his high school days, he relied on his nimble feet to avoid sacks. Flynn’s 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds on grass served him well in that regard, per Emfinger.
When Flynn was a junior, forty-five college football programs already had him on their radar.
These included the LSU Tigers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Alabama Crimson Tide, Texas A&M Aggies, and Baylor Bears.
Matt Flynn would eventually choose the LSU Tigers and lead them to a national title in the 2007 NCAA season.
College Days With The LSU Tigers
Matt Flynn attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA from 2003 to 2007. He majored in general studies.
Flynn redshirted the 2003 NCAA season. He served as the backup of highly-touted gunslinger JaMarcus Russell for the next three seasons.
Flynn and Russell were from the same 2003 high school recruiting class.
The LSU Tigers had a gaudy 13-1 win-loss record in Flynn’s redshirt freshman campaign in 2003.
With the legendary Nick Saban leading the charge, the Tigers beat the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl 21-14 to secure their third national title.
With the seldom-used Flynn playing in Russell’s shadow, the Tigers went 9-3 in 2004.
Unfortunately, LSU lost to the eleventh-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes in the Capital One Bowl (now known as the Citrus Bowl), 30-25.
It was Saban’s last game as LSU’s head football coach.
If not here is a guy who needs a job , sure he is 35 , but he played for the LSU Tigers and the Packers / Vikings .
Matt Flynn . pic.twitter.com/5Xk9jEylbB
— Mr Bat 2 u , Yes am that sneaky fruit bat. (@KlineBat) November 28, 2020
Flynn made a startling revelation to FOX Sports’ Cameron DaSilva in 2016. The former admitted he thought about leaving LSU several times.
“I even considered transferring a couple of times,” Flynn told DaSilva. “I didn’t have any school in mind, but my junior year I was taking extra classes to transfer.”
Fortunately for new Tigers head football coach Les Miles and the LSU fanbase, Flynn stayed put in Baton Rouge.
Flynn made his first start in the collegiate ranks in the 2005 Peach Bowl against the ninth-ranked Miami Hurricanes.
Flynn, who took over for an injured Russell, completed 13 of 22 passes for 196 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions in LSU’s 40-3 rout of Miami.
After Flynn’s impressive performance against the Hurricanes, he convinced himself to stay at LSU. He believed he could emerge as the Tigers’ starting quarterback in 2006.
Alas, it didn’t happen.
Although Russell and Flynn competed for LSU’s starting signal-caller position, there was no animosity between them.
In fact, after Russell informed his family he was declaring for the 2007 NFL Draft, Flynn was next in line, per FOX Sports.
For his part, Flynn gained a newfound respect for Russell after that gesture.
The Tigers went 11-2 in 2006. They routed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sugar Bowl, 41-14.
JaMarcus Russell ended his stellar college football career by securing 2007 Sugar Bowl MVP honors.
Russell’s departure for the pro ranks opened the door for Flynn, a fifth-year senior in the 2007 NCAA season.
Flynn seized the opportunity for all its worth.
He became just the seventh quarterback in LSU Tigers program history to record at least 300 passing yards twice in the same season, per the team’s official athletics website.
Flynn had 353 passing yards and 319 passing yards against bitter SEC rivals the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers in 2007.
He also had at least three touchdown passes in five games that season.
Flynn also orchestrated come-from-behind wins against the Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, and Ohio State Buckeyes.
Matt Flynn was fast becoming a household name among college football fans and pundits.
With Flynn at quarterback, the LSU Tigers roared to a gaudy 12-2 win-loss record in the 2007 NCAA campaign.
The pinnacle of his college football career was undoubtedly the 2008 BCS Championship Game against the No.1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
Flynn rose to the occasion on college football’s biggest stage: he connected on 19 of 27 pass attempts for 174 yards and four touchdowns in LSU’s resounding 38-24 triumph against Ohio State.
Matt Flynn como portada del Sports Illustrated tras ganar el BCS National Championship Game del 2007 a Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/XefMiEApMW
— NCAA Football – Esp (@ncaafesp) August 21, 2013
Matt Flynn, the 2008 BCS Championship Offensive Game MVP, helped the LSU Tigers win their fourth national title.
It was sweet redemption for Flynn, a backup quarterback who played in JaMarcus Russell’s shadow the previous three seasons.
Matt Flynn ended his college football career with 3,096 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions
Flynn would then embark on a nomadic eight-year career as a backup quarterback in the National Football League.
Pro Football Career
The Green Bay Packers made Matt Flynn the 209th overall selection of the 2008 NFL Draft. They drafted him in the seventh round.
Flynn told FOX sports some nine years later he hobbled through his fifth-year senior campaign at LSU with a high-ankle sprain and a sprained AC joint.
He didn’t let those deter him in his quest to raise his stock in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Flynn even told DaSilva that he had a decent pro day. One coach even loved his throwing prowess and took him out for lunch.
Flynn wasn’t exactly thrilled when he found out he would head north to frigid Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“I grew up in Texas, went to school in Louisiana. I was a hot-weather guy,” Flynn told FOX Sports in 2016. “Before the draft, I said, ‘Okay, I don’t really want to go to Green Bay or Buffalo.'”
Today in 2008: Packers find late-round gems in UCF's Josh Sitton, LSU's Matt Flynn on second day of NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/OBlfqB2G2v
— Packers History (@HistoricPackers) April 27, 2016
When the Packers drafted Louisville Cardinals quarterback Brian Brohm 56th overall, Flynn thought Green Bay was off the board.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Green Bay eventually plucked him from the draft pool five rounds later, he had mixed emotions. On the bright side, Flynn was happy to play for a squad that won thirteen games in 2007 and already had three Super Bowl titles.
The Packers clearly needed depth at quarterback with the legendary Brett Favre’s impending departure for the New York Jets in 2008.
Flynn told DaSilva eight years later that Favre’s indecisiveness created “an absolute circus” within the Packers organization.
Favre’s departure paved the way for Aaron Rodgers, who was entering his fourth pro football season, to take over as Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2008.
It was a critical turning point in Matt Flynn’s career.
Flynn knew he wasn’t ready to start as a rookie in the NFL. He quickly became Rodgers’ protege and learned the nuances of playing quarterback at the game’s highest level.
“There’s no question I got better from watching Aaron Rodgers,” Flynn told DaSilva in 2016. “It was an absolute blessing that I was drafted by Green Bay where I was able to sit back and watch behind a great mentor and grow as a quarterback.”
Green Bay averaged nine wins per season in Matt Flynn’s first two seasons in the pro ranks. The Packers never made it past the NFC Wild Card Game during that stretch.
Flynn made his first NFL start against the New England Patriots on December 19, 2010. He filled in for an injured Rodgers on that day.
Flynn exceeded expectations with 254 passing yards, three touchdown passes, and an interception in the Packers’ 31-27 loss.
Flynn had a chance to win the game at New England’s 15-yard line.
However, he fumbled the ball away after the Patriots sacked him in the game’s waning moments.
Green Bay won ten games in Flynn’s third NFL season in 2010.
He was Rodgers’ backup when the Packers won against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25.
Matt Flynn won his first and only Super Bowl ring. It was also the Pack’s fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Flynn also won a title at the collegiate and professional ranks.
Speaking of #GBvsDET week and milestones:
On January 1, 2012, Matt Flynn started the final game of the season, against the Detroit Lions.
He threw for 480 yards and 6 TDs in the 45–41 victory, both of which set single game #Packers records.
— CheeseheadTV 🧀 (@cheeseheadtv) December 7, 2020
Matt Flynn’s biggest achievement in professional football was throwing for a Green Bay Packers franchise record 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions on New Year’s Day 2012.
Flynn went toe-to-toe with Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, whose 520 passing yards were the most ever at Lambeau Field, per Packers.com’s Mike Spofford.
Flynn and Stafford combined for exactly 1,000 passing yards. Perennial Packers Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers matched Flynn’s 480-yard performance almost two years later.
No Green Bay Packers quarterback has thrown for 500 yards in a game. Flynn and Rodgers have come closest to eclipsing that mark.
Jordy Nelson caught two of Flynn’s touchdown passes (36 and 58 yards). Flynn recorded one touchdown pass each to Donald Driver (35 yards), Ryan Grant (80 yards), James Jones (40 yards), and Jermichael Finley (4 yards).
Flynn completed 31 of 44 passes for a 136.4 passer rating.
Flynn’s 480 passing yards against the Lions easily eclipsed Lynn Dickey’s single-season team record of 418 passing yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers almost thirty-two years earlier, per Spofford.
Flynn pointed out to DaSilva it was the last regular-season game on his rookie deal with the Packers.
He hadn’t played a meaningful game since his days at LSU, so he made this one count.
Flynn pulled off the incredible feat against the Lions despite a strong gust that blew the tarp off Lambeau Field.
Flynn also revealed to FOX Sports in 2016 that Rodgers called the plays for him in that particular game. The latter was acting loose and cracking jokes during the showdown against Detroit.
When Flynn threw his fifth touchdown pass, Rodgers shot him one of those looks that told him he had to throw another one.
After Flynn did just that, a jubilant Rodgers jumped on his back and promptly celebrated, per FOX Sports.
Matt Flynn tested the free-agent waters in the offseason after his rookie deal with Green Bay expired.
The Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks became his most ardent suitors.
Both teams dangled offers to Flynn.
However, he decided to sign a three-year, $26 million contract with Seattle because he knew the Packers couldn’t offer him that kind of money.
Second, he felt he could become a legitimate starting quarterback with the Seahawks after four years under Aaron Rodgers’ wing in Green Bay.
Regrettably, that possibility never materialized.
The Seahawks selected Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson 75th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Wilson eventually earned legendary status in the Emerald City until the Seahawks traded him to the Denver Broncos in the spring of 2022.
As for Matt Flynn, he requested Seattle to trade him after just one season.
The Seahawks obliged and traded him to the then-Oakland Raiders for two draft picks in the spring of 2013.
Flynn finally had his chance to start at quarterback in the Black Hole.
— AFL Godfather 🏴☠️👓🏈 (@NFLMAVERICK) June 20, 2019
Alas, his short six-month stint with the Raiders was a low point in his pro football career.
Flynn revealed to DaSilva in 2016 that he developed elbow tendinitis in his throwing arm during his one-year stint with the Seahawks.
He underwent treatment and rehab in Pensacola, FL but his elbow hadn’t healed properly when he landed with the Raiders.
Oakland head coach Dennis Allen then demoted Allen to third-string status behind Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin.
The Raiders eventually released an ailing Matt Flynn on October 7, 2013.
Fortunately for Flynn, the Buffalo Bills came to his rescue.
The Bills reached out to him shortly after Oakland released him. It turned out Buffalo starter EJ Manuel sustained an injury.
The fortuitous turn of events set off a chaotic scenario for Flynn and his wife Lacey, who he married less than four months earlier.
“I had to fly to Oakland from Baton Rouge to pack and move out,” Flynn told FOX Sports three years later. “My wife had to drive from Oakland to Baton Rouge, then fly to Buffalo after that.”
Matt Flynn’s stint with the Bills lasted all of three weeks.
Flynn, the Bills’ newly-signed emergency quarterback, never took the field in Buffalo. After Manuel and backup Thad Lewis received a clean bill of health, the team released him on November 4, 2013.
According to DaSilva, Flynn took the news in stride and had dinner with his Bills offensive linemen shortly afterward.
Flynn and Co. watched a Monday Night Football game pitting his old team, the Green Bay Packers, against their NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears.
Flynn saw his mentor Aaron Rodgers break his collarbone during the game. Not only that, but Green Bay backup quarterback Seneca Wallace was also battling injuries.
At that point, Flynn felt another opportunity was knocking on his door.
Matt Flynn re-signed with the Packers to serve as Scott Tolzien’s backup in the fall of 2013.
— Matt Flynn (@mflynn3) December 11, 2021
Flynn and his wife Lacey had already lived the nomadic life to the hilt prior to his second tour of duty in Green Bay.
The couple had lived in eleven different settlements ranging from an apartment to a house in the past two years.
They also had to drive whenever they moved because several bulldogs lived with them, per FOX Sports.
Indeed, it was a crazy and frenetic time in Matt Flynn’s life on and off the gridiron.
Over the course of the next two seasons, Flynn had 1,212 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions in twelve games for the Packers.
Green Bay averaged ten wins per season in 2013 and 2014 but couldn’t get past the NFC Championship Game.
After Flynn played out his deal with the Packers, the New England Patriots signed him in the summer of 2015.
Alas, a hamstring injury prevented Flynn from moving up the quarterback depth chart behind the legendary Tom Brady.
New England eventually waived Flynn. He wore a Patriots jersey for all of two months.
It was a harrowing throwback to his short-lived stint with the Oakland Raiders almost two years earlier.
Flynn returned to his old college stomping grounds in Baton Rouge, LA.
That’s when the New York Jets called him up.
The Jets needed a backup quarterback after starter Geno Smith got punched in the face. They signed Flynn to a one-year deal nine days after the Patriots released him.
Flynn played well in the Jets’ final preseason game of 2015. Nonetheless, the Jets released him just before Week 1. His stint with the team lasted just two-and-a-half weeks.
Flynn admitted to DaSilva a year later the move surprised him. It also left a bad taste in his mouth.
Thanks for the opportunity #nyjets, but it looks like I am headed back home to Louisiana.. Looking forward to what's next!
— Matt Flynn (@mflynn3) September 5, 2015
Despite multiple setbacks in Flynn’s pro football career, he received good news after his release from the Jets.
He and his wife Lacey welcomed their first son.
Flynn’s favorite childhood team, the Dallas Cowboys, reached out to him. After training with them in his home state of Texas, they informed him a trade went through so they had to send him back to Louisiana.
Matt Flynn eventually spent his final pro football season with the New Orleans Saints in 2015. He filled in for an ailing Luke McCown as a backup to Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees.
Unfortunately, Flynn never played a single down in the Big Easy.
It was the first time in his NFL career he didn’t suit up in a regular-season game.
With Flynn watching from the sidelines, the Saints limped to a 7-9 win-loss record and missed the postseason for the second straight year.
Matt Flynn finished his eight-year NFL career with 2,541 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
He earned approximately $19.2 million during his pro football career, per Spotrac.com.
Despite the numerous ups and downs, Flynn went through during his time on the pro gridiron, he had no regrets.
“I wouldn’t take anything back that I’ve done in my NFL career. It’s been so much fun,” Flynn told FOX Sports in 2016.
Matt Flynn and his family currently reside in the Baton Rouge, LA area.
According to Lacey Flynn’s Instagram account, she and her husband have three children.
Matt Flynn is the founder of his own sports drink company known as “MyHy” (short for “My Hydration”).
During Flynn’s time with the Green Bay Packers, he established a long-term professional relationship with an athletic nutritionist.
The nutritionist made Flynn go through a unique hydration protocol that boosted his performance on the gridiron.
New scientific facts have been uncovered that instead of drinking water, we should all be drinking four gallons of almond milk. April Fool’s! Water is a key element of hydration and mixing water with #MyHy gives you the perfect formula for #balancedhydration pic.twitter.com/9W9zDFKEvj
— MyHy (@drinkmyhy) April 1, 2022
From there, Flynn collaborated with a team of scientists and developed an all-natural electrolyte drink that helps replenish key nutrients lost when one sweats.
The product aims to help athletes, industrial workers, military personnel, and first responders.
Matt Flynn’s hobbies include fishing, hunting, and playing golf, per LSU’s official athletics website.