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Jets sign well-traveled backup QB Matt Flynn

Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn passes against

Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn passes against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of a game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. Photo Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - His sandy hair coiffed in a messy man-bun, a smiling Matt Flynn seemed at ease in his new surroundings.

The quarterback made stops in Green Bay (twice), Seattle, Buffalo, Oakland and New England in his first seven NFL seasons. On Wednesday, he found himself in a new uniform, green and white with "Jets'' emblazoned across the side of his helmet.

He has grown accustomed to the uncertainty surrounding his next destination. "Sometimes I've gotta look at the map app on my phone and figure it out,'' Flynn joked. "But I'm happy to be here, I'm happy for the opportunity and trying to get acclimated. It's kind of been a whirlwind the last couple of days.''

The Jets officially announced the signing (a one-year deal) about an hour before Flynn and his new teammates began an afternoon practice that was moved inside because of rain.

His hamstring is still not 100 percent. He was given no assurances about his future as a Jet and doesn't know what his role will be. Plus, Todd Bowles said it's "conceivable'' the Jets could cut bait in favor of another emergency quarterback to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick in the near future. But change is nothing new for Flynn, 30, who's earned more than $18 million despite making only seven career starts.

"Right now, my focus has to be learning stuff, learning the playbook, learning what the heck is going on out there 'cause watching practice today, it was . . . different. Didn't know a lot about what was going on,'' said Flynn, who is still a week away from being healthy, Bowles said.

The Patriots released Flynn last week because of the hamstring injury, which he said he suffered right before the start of camp. On Friday, the Jets invited him to their facility to take a physical but didn't work him out.

If his hamstring heals and he learns the playbook quickly, there's a good chance he'll move past rookie Bryce Petty on the depth chart. "If not,'' Bowles said, "Bryce will stay No. 2.''

Flynn said the terminology is somewhat similar to what was used in Green Bay and New England. "So hopefully there's a quick learning curve,'' he said.

Bowles highlighted Flynn's experience and that he knows the system. But he also revealed the Jets' level of desperation when he said Flynn was "the only one who was available'' that they wanted to sign. With former starter Geno Smith out 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw, "we needed a veteran quarterback right away and he fit what he wanted to do,'' Bowles said. The Jets are hopeful Flynn is healthy enough to play in their third preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 29.

Tackle Breno Giacomini praised Flynn, perhaps because it's the third time they have been teammates. "He's a familiar face,'' the former Packer and Seahawk said. "I trust him. I know what he's doing. He prepares well. He's a good teammate.''

The two talked quite a bit before Flynn's deal was official, with Giacomini trying to push his buddy to come to Florham Park. "I told him about the place that I think this organization is heading; we're heading in a good spot. I think we're going to be a good team,'' he said. "Unfortunately, stuff happens. But on the flip side of that coin, it opens up a roster spot for somebody else.''

Flynn's career highlight is setting Packers records with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win over the Lions in Week 17 of 2011. But despite high expectations early in his career, he hasn't panned out as a starter. Still, Giacomini defended him against the critics.

"How many teams he's been on, it doesn't matter how many times he's gotten cut, it doesn't matter how much money you make,'' Giacomini said. "It just matters how much you play on Sunday and how you play.''


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