Now, although we've had success with Free-Agent Veteran QB's, like our new boy Flynn ... Lamonica, Plunkett, and Gannon, of course being the notable examples ... unfortunately, the opposite has also been true ... George, Brooks, Culpepper, Collins, (arguably) Campbell ... those are just a few of our many retread failures, off the top of my head ... I'm sure I could come up with a bunch more. Let's just say, our history in this regard is highly checkered.
However, unlike how I felt about the latter guys when they came, I actually have a pretty good feeling about this Flynn dude. And that's cause I'm trusting that Reg has really 'seen something' in this kid in his time at GB.
It's pretty clear to me that Reg is primarily looking for guys that he senses or knows have 'good character/work ethic' (truth told, I suspect he's a devout Christian and is packing our team with religious-leaning dudes), which I think is probably a lot better strategy than the AL model of picking guys purely on the basis of perceived speed/athleticism.
The reason I like this approach is because I think that, with obviously a few notable exceptions, there's a great deal of parity in this league, and most teams are fairly similarly 'talented' overall. A big key to making the playoffs (at least) is in putting together a hard-working, hard-practicing TEAM. I think success comes from having player leadership, building cohesion and camaraderie, making everyone feel accountable to everyone else, and having minimal distractions/locker room cancer-type players.
And I think that avoiding a situation where a handful of players have out-sized contracts (i.e. they're paid more than they're worth, whereas others make less than they're worth) is also very important from a psychological/team-building standpoint ...
Bottom-line, I think that AL's big failure as a GM was in his disinclination to focus on Team/Character/Leadership over individual players and raw athleticism, and his pay scale was way out of whack vs. actual on-field performance.
Fact is, in the scant few seasons since the early 80's that we've done well, it was because we had dudes that led by example, and had good character ... Gannon, Timmy, Rice, Lincoln, Wiz, etc, along with a fiery leader in Gruden.
I think Big Reg is very aware that success doesn't just come from picking the most badass athletes, it comes from rounding up men of good character and good work ethics, guys that aren't excessively focused on themselves.
You watch ... over the upcoming years, with Reg in charge, players that act selfishly (including dudes that are already filthy rich that refuse to take a contract that's in line with their actual performance on the field), become 'cancerous', or get in trouble over 'moral' issues off the field ... are going to be gone from this team, very quickly.
Ravens won the SB last year, and I don't think anyone would argue that they were the most 'talented' team in the NFL last season. But they had what it took ... and I sense that Reg would say that 'what it takes' ... is a group of dudes playing as a TEAM, with a common purpose, who are accountable to one another. You also want minimal distractions, no prima-donna locker-room cancers, and you need FAIR contracts so that players aren't envious/resentful of their team-mates.
I guess I'm putting words in his mouth, but this is how I believe he thinks. And I think Reg is 'onto' something. Ergo, if Reg made the move to pick up Flynn, I believe it's cause he fits into his vision of 'the right way' to build a team. And I support this approach whole-heartedly.